The Birthday Party by Vee Speers

The Birthday Party by Vee Speers // Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2009

Last week I visited the Fotografiska Museet in Stockholm. It is a new museum that focuses on photography. I have no particular interest in photography as art, nor do I often visit museums (I am ashamed to say). I hardly expected there to be something to catch my eye. There are a few exhibitions on at the moment, one about fashion photography through the 20th century (especially the older pictures were of interest to me), a collection of portraits by Gus van Sant and an exhibition by Pieter ten Hoopen called “Stockholm”,  about isolation in a big city. The latter did leave an impression, there were quite a few pictures that I really liked. However, what really impressed me were the few pictures from a collection by Vee Speers called “The Birthday Party”. These are photographs of children, childish and yet eerily adult. I sometimes felt there was an “Alice in Wonderland” feel to the pictures, but then there was something much more unsettling and yet beautiful about them. Let me say this: I know nothing about art and it is rare that I feel such an attraction to a certain collection, so now that it happened, I had to share it. And, there is a book with the photographs of this collection, so this post is book related after all. It is one of the few times that I have considered buying a book of art. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can afford it.

Credit: Vee Speers

Speers says, in an interview with the Guardian:

I was imagining a world run by children, not adults – an anarchic world threaded together by an imaginary party.

Go check out her website here (I admit, the font is a bit small for me to read), take a look at her book here or simply google her name for more of her pictures.*

* I make no profit from any of the links provided.

16 thoughts on “The Birthday Party by Vee Speers

  1. jane

    Oh this sounds fascinating, and unique – what an imagination she must have. I’d love to see the Gus van Sant portraits too.

    Reply
  2. Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

    Beautiful photos! I don’t often enjoy looking at art, but for some reason photographic art really calls to me. Taking pictures of children dressed as adults is a bit spooky. There is something that really makes you stop and look at them. Thanks for sharing :-)

    Reply
  3. amymckie

    I don’t do museums or art galleries often either Iris (though I did LOVE the British Museum in London!). These pictures are really neat though, you are right. Too bad the book is so pricey :(

    Reply
    1. Iris Post author

      I expect to love that museum too, if only because it says BRITISH museum. I know, I’m not as sophisticated as I pretend to be ;)

      Reply
  4. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    I love those photos. I don’t go to museums as often as I like, and a lot of art doesn’t do much for me. But every once in awhile I see some photos or paintings that just really hit something, sort of like these did for you. It’s a fun feeling, isn’t it?

    Reply
  5. Jenny

    Oh, those are lovely. Photographs aren’t my favorite form of art – I don’t dislike them, but I tend to prefer other media. Those are gorgeous though! I love them.

    Reply
  6. Erin

    These are really interesting! You’re right, they are sort of Alice in Wonderland-ish. Photography is the art form I tend to connect with most readily. Like you, I don’t know much about art (and I rarely visit museums!). Glad you found something you liked!

    Reply
  7. Tom C

    What unusual photographs. I am a keen photographer and am always on the look out for new idea but these are something beyond my abilities. We visit our local gallery but they currently have an exhibition of Mapplethorpe so may miss that one

    Reply
  8. Jodie

    They are strangely adult like children. Disturbingly attractive images that kind of hint at ideas about childhood innocence being changed from what it used to be say 40 years ago, but also maybe a hint at what childhood used to be like way, way back in the day – not innocent and lots of girls who knew what a dead rabbit looked like because they helped their parents skin ‘em.

    Reply
  9. Zee

    Oh I wish I had known you had been there, I really enjoyed the vee Speers photos when I went in May. They are freaky but there is something about them that stick with you.

    Reply
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