*Sweet Crazies - Jan Hoek © 2011* _Photographs_ Last years *Jan Hoek (1984)* visited Ethiopia several times. The first time he visited Addis Ababa, he saw a man standing in the middle of a roundabout, looking at the sky, shouting unintelligible things at it. In both of his nostrils he had put a cigarette, he was wearing old seventies pilot glasses and his outfit consisted of many layers of ragged and worn out pieces of clothing. The man turned out to be a so-called 'Sweet Crazy'. That is the local nickname for the many mentally ill vagabonds who live in the streets. Hoek thought it was fascinating that the people who pass for crazy people there, could easily go on the catwalk here with their outfits, self made, scraped together and shaped by time. Back in the Netherlands the Sweet Crazies didn’t leave Hoek and so he decided to return to Addis Ababa to start a photography project. Together with his local friend Solomon he tried to befriend the Sweet Crazies and tried to take their picture. He decided not to photograph them between the rubbish, but to give them a star like setting in one of the many typical Ethiopian photo studio’s, filled with golden thrones and Roman columns. Some of them were so grateful that they overwhelmed Hoek with wet beard kisses. Other Sweet Crazies seemed to be crazier than expected so Hoek and one of the Sweet Crazies were chased out of the mall by guards with sticks. In the end, it al resulted in an intriguing series of portraits. 25.01.2013 – 20.03.2013 *Foam 3h: Jan Hoek - _Me & My Models_* Jan Hoek was selected for the Best Graduates Show last summer in 2012. Gallery Ron Mandos exhibited his video Me & My Models, Jan talks about the nasty, funny, painful or touching things that happen around photographing people. This video is on show at Foam 3h, the place for young talent. Foam, Keizergracht 609, Amsterdam. "More info":http://www.foam.org/visit-foam/calendar/2013-exhibitions/foam-3h-jan-hoek Link: "Jan Hoek":https://ronmandos.nl/artist/biography/54/jan_hoek

ABOUT Jan Hoek

Jan Hoek (1984) is a writer as well. In addition to his own indepedant work as an artist, he writes for magazines and newspapers about his own work, the work of others, photography in general and subjects related to his own work.

Jan Hoek has photographed amateur models, mentally ill homeless people in Africa, a girl with no arms and legs, a heroin addict who dreams of being a model, or people he has simply found in advertisements on the internet. The photo shoot is never what he expected, model and photographer always have different expectations. The model actually wants sex while Jan Hoek wants to shoot the dog. The model tries to be as glamorous as possible, while Jan wants to picture the decay. Photographing is not just about the image but also the relationship between the photographer and the model. How far can you go with your models? In the accompanying film, Me & My Models, Jan talks about the nasty, funny, painful or touching things that happen around photographing people.

“I believe there is always a certain degree of ethics involved in photography. It is almost impossible to take photographs of people without consciously, or unconsciously, crossing boundaries and with things happening that you don’t want or expect. I feel this is often covered up in photography, while I would like to show it … ”