"Nicola Kuperus takes what looks at first to be a “commercial” approach to photography. A 1998 graduate of the Center for Creative Studies, she looks at objects and people with a kind of equanimity — a one-mood-fits-all attitude pervading each of her shots — in which eroticized models and fetishized commodities are frozen in a world of mutual dependence. “What I decided to hone in on was not product but actually fashion. When I’m making my images, it’s as if I’m selling a handbag or a pair of shoes. But I think it crosses over into fine art.”
Her vividly colored pictures can be read as cynical takes on 21st century capitalism and as part of one long tongue-in-cheek love affair with surfaces. Yet, each shot goes much deeper than a first impression. Kuperus’ view of the postmodern mystery dance seems to be that we’re in a bionic-prosthetic need relationship with the stylish things we buy — as if, like cripples, we couldn’t get around without them. At the same time, the things in her photographs become sinister in their seductive beauty and — as in the two pictures of the blonde girl with the white purse above — overpowering, even lethal.
Kuperus sees an important antecedent for her stark fashion spreads in the work of Helmut Newton, bête noire of international fashion photography and perennial whipping boy for pop culture moralists seeking to “cleanse” the world of libido. But while Newton aims his lens primarily at the upper classes in a strange mixture of fascination and derision, Kuperus opens her perceptual windows onto a more familiar landscape — one that foregrounds retro longings for style in a world gone mad with stuff-lust."
Nicola's work might provide some answers, or provoke further questions, about Ana Voog's Dead Girl Fetish