I can’t really explain to you where my interest in gender, beauty ideals and identity came from. I can tell you a few examples of situations in my past that might have triggered this fascination for these subjects.
I must have been about 8 years old, when I came back from this camping vacation from the south of the Netherlands. Before school started I wanted to go to a hairdresser and get a hairdo that I had seen during our vacation. I tried to convince my mom that this haircut would be perfect for me: all my hair shaved short to a couple of millimeters, with only a crest on the front that I could fix with gel and make it stand up straight. I remember my mom and older sister talking into me and trying to convince me that this was not a haircut that was suitable for girls. I’m not sure if they really made me change my mind, or that the hairdresser just gave me girlier version of this really short haircut.
Even though this wasn’t the haircut that I had in mind, I remember being really happy with it. Not sure if that’s because I already knew back then that I didn’t have the hair to wear it long. Or that I already liked looking different and was developing my own style. It did bother me though, that when I was playing outside, or riding my bicycle in the streets of my little hometown, I regularly got the question if I was a boy or a girl. It annoyed me a lot, because I didn’t understand why a short haircut should make you doubt my gender.
And last bot not least, I grew up in a family with a feminist mother, who changed her married name back into her maiden name when I was already in puberty. And was always questioning why certain positions in church or in politics weren’t filled in by a woman. It made me realize that in society things weren’t the same for men and women at quite a young age.
Hi there, I’m Berber Knol. A Dutch illustrator and photographer, based in Berlin. Maybe these stories didn’t contribute to my interest in subjects like gender, beauty ideals and identity at all. If not, it gave you a little glimpse into my childhood and some of the memories I cherish.
Besides all the above, I really like aesthetic images, geometric shapes and minimalism. Feel free to check out my webshop and order a print. If you first would like to get to know me and my work a little better, follow my Insta or Facebookpage!
March 2017: group exhibition by Mixart Gallery, Amsterdam.
Nov 2016: group exhibition by Mixart Gallery, Amsterdam.
December 2015: group exhibition by GUP Magazine, Art Hotel Amsteram
December 2015: book publish in the ‘New Dutch 2016’, by GUP Magazine
July 2015: graduated in Education in Fine Arts, from the Amsterdam University of the Arts, Amsterdam
July 2008: graduated in Fashion Styling, from Artemis Styling Academy, Amsterdam