Monday 6 June 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

Born on September 16th 1973 in Stockholm, Sweden, Martina Hoogland Ivanow studied photography at Parsons School of Design in Paris and New York. An art photographer, she also often works for fashion designers and magazines. Among others, she published photographs in magazines such as Another Magazine, The New York Times, Details, Dazed and Confused, The Face, Big Magazine, Blindspot and she created visuals for designer campaigns Prada, Miu Miu and Colette among others. Her biography on Fred and Associates website (her representatives in New York) states that her images are "a visual meditation on distance, both physical and emotional, of closeness to a subject and remoteness from a place." This focus is always apparent in her gorgeous and mysterious photographs, in which she often uses dark contrasts.

These themes were also close to those of Tori Amos when she wrote and recorded her fourth studio album From the Choirgirl Hotel. Having suffered a miscarriage three months in her pregnancy, the artist explored the depths of her sorrow in her new songs when she felt desperate to have lost her unborn baby girl. "The songs that came were all the children who couldn’t be with their mothers. They were ghosts. (…) These songs were children who had found another plane, or mothers who had gone before who had experienced this loss, and they came to share my grief," she said in her 2005 book Piece by Piece.

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One of Martina Hoogland Ivanow’s photographs for FTCH

Martina Hoogland Ivanow, whose photographs moved Tori "in a deep way" according to what she said in an online Yahoo chat in 1998, made several photographs for the album visuals. Whereas Katerina Jebb made the pictures for the cover and some of the inside pages of the booklet and tourbook using a Xerox photocopier machine, the Swedish photographer shot images of Tori in a minimalist blue and black background. Lying down on a rock with a sad expression or standing besides two young ghostly women comforting her, her visuals create a mental underworld space that complete perfectly Jebb’s dark photographs picturing Tori like trapped in a giant aquarium while being distinct from them.

In the following years, Martina Hoogland Ivanow exposed her work several times in Stockholm, her native home, as well as in London or in Denmark. In 2002, she thus exhibited at Xposeptember (the Stockholm photo festival) a series of photographs titled Four Corners of the World. All of these photographs were shot in isolated places such as Sakhalin Island, the Kola Peninsula, Tierra del Fuego or in the Antarctic and showed her interest for portraiture and landscapes.

This culminated in the book Far Too Close she published in 2009, which represents several years of work where the photographer traveled around the world in singular places to photograph landscapes and families in their interior home. Contradictions and beauty emerge, as always, of these photographs, impregned of the dark history of their locations. Closeness and distance are sensitive not only in the images of these far flung landscapes but also between the human subjects she pictures, family members for the most part, the familiar and the unknown mixing and confounding themselves.

Apart from working with Tori, Martina Hoogland Ivanow also made photographs for musicians such as Iggy Pop, Lili Taylor, Harmony Korine & Puffy or Melissa Auf Der Maur. In 2000, she directed a video included on Queen Adreena’s first album, Taxidermy (the Japanese edition), which is now out of press.

Profile at Fred and Associates Website: http://www.fredandassociates.com/#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=0&a=7&p=0&at=0

Personal website:

http://www.martinahooglandivanow.com/