Pieter Henket is a Dutch photographer living and working in New York City. His notable work includes shooting the cover of Lady Gaga
’s debut album The Fame
, and photographing National Congolese acting out their mythologies in the Congo rainforest for the book Congo Tales
published by Random House / Prestel Publishing in 2018. He is known for a photographic style that takes inspiration from the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age of painting.
Henket was born in Geldrop, Netherlands. He is the son of the Dutch architect Hubert-Jan Henket and the nephew of the Dutch photographer Bertien van Manen
. After high school in the Netherlands, Henket moved to the States to take a three-month film course at the New York Film Academy, followed by a documentary-film-making course at the NYU film school. Shortly after, Henket got his start by interning for director Joel Schumacher
In 1999, he worked on the set of the film Flawless
, starring Robert De Niro
and Philip Seymour Hoffman
. He had a long-time collaboration with recording artist and producer Ryan Leslie
. He has worked with celebrities such as Anjelica Huston
, Mary-Kate Olsen
, Sir Ben Kingsley
, Kristen Stewart
and Lady Gaga for whose debut album The Fame Henket shot. In 2010, the iconic image was presented at the American Woman
exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
in New York.
In 2015 Henket was commissioned by Tales of Us
in Berlin to photograph Congolese from the Mbomo District acting out their mythologies in the Odzala Kokoua National Park for the book Congo Tales
About Congo Tales
In the deep heart of Africa lies a tropical rainforest second only in size to the Amazon – the Congo Basin. It measures 500 million acres, spans 6 nations, and is home to some of the largest swaths of intact tropical rainforest in the world, with the pristine Odzala Kokoua National Park as the crown jewel.
Known to ecologists as the world’s second lung, the Congo Basin is the Earth’s other Amazon – as vital to preventing runaway Climate Change as the Brazilian rainforest and as vulnerable to deforestation and abuse. Yet the Congo Basin falls far short of the Amazon when it comes to the world’s awareness of it as a major player in the global environment, a cathedral of nature’s treasures, and a stopgap against looming ecological catastrophe. Published in 2018 by Prestel, Congo Tales is intended to help solve this lack of awareness, and help create a conservation infrastructure for this critical pillar of the world’s fragile ecological balance.
Upturning the traditional conventions of fear-based environmental messaging and the portrayal of Africa solely as a place of plague and war, Congo Tales takes a completely different approach to communicating the urgency of conservation efforts in this region. Channeling the primal heartbeat of one of the world’s most powerful ecosystems and the people who call it home, the mythological tales of the Congolese – of supernatural forces in control of life and death, of ritualistic initiations into adulthood, of the laws of nature that lie outside the laws of people – are revealed as a treasure trove of universal wisdom that is both existential and pragmatic, with the unspoiled Odzala Kokoua National Park as stage and actor.
Source: The Independant Photographer