During the late 1990s, Dutch artist CÚline van Balen created a remarkable series, Islamic Girls. Featuring young women from different immigrant Muslim communities in the Netherlands, these compositionally spare photographs, with dark backgrounds and gentle facial highlights, are reminiscent of Northern Renaissance portraiture.
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Van Balen’s first serious exposure to photography came in a class in 1991. Inspired, she acquired a 35mm camera and wandered through the city, photographing the people living on the edge of society: junkies, alcoholics, the homeless…