Anya Janssen (1962, The Netherlands)
Double Predestination, 2002. Oil on linen, 220×160 cm. From the series Double-edged.
Dutch painter Anya Janssen graduated from the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Her work has since been exhibited in numerous museums and exhibitions worldwide. She is best-known for her realistic, soft-focus portraits, in which she explores the processes that form our identity. Over a lengthy period, she researches her models extensively, and focuses on frictions between fantasy and reality, and between nature and nurture.
For her series Double-edged, Anya followed two young identical twin girls from 2002 to 2006. The girls are ‘mirror image twins’ – their appearances mirror each other symmetrically. The birthmark on one twin’s left cheek can be found on the right cheek of the other, and their hair spirals at the root in opposite directions on the crowns of their heads. The girls’ identities are largely shaped by the strong religious environment in which they were raised. Caught between these rules and values, and the modern, dynamic world of friends, school and media, the two have formed a strong bond in which they find solace and support in one another.
Anya also created the official campaign image for ONWARD&UPWARD, titled De Zachte Krachten (The Soft Forces).
Courtesy Dr Ralf Heyeres.