Lisette Appeldorn and her masked identities



I am Andrea Bell, an art historian and digital curator for This Ain’t Art School on Instagram. I’m excited to be taking over the Hatje Cantz blog for the month and sharing some of my favorite features from TAAS with you.

In the era of the selfie, what does it mean to hide one’s face, to obscure one’s identity, to capture something about a person in a photograph other than what they look like? Lisette Appeldorn lives and works in Amsterdam in her own little studio. She has an obsession for masks made from a lot of different materials. She is constantly looking for that perfect combination of the right colors and materials, draped over the human body. Playing with these materials without having any clear plan beforehand, she creates a series of different characters that she discovers while shooting.


By hiding the face, Appeldorn has control over the emotions in the work, and although there is no distraction of a facial expression, we can still recognize ourselves in the presented shapes. She gets inspiration by walking by strange household or construction shops, or searching for that one right fabric. You can find Appeldorn’s work posted to her instagram page: @Lisette.Appeldorn.