Studio Rik Versteeg
Drievriendenstraat 26
3014 JS Rotterdam

Cell: +316 30728245

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"V" - The Vanguards of Elucidation - Part II, 2019

Rise like a phoenix.

In the last few weeks, I have been working on one of my latest images for my autonomous series; ‘This is a memory of a dream I once had”.

This image is part of my ongoing series about dreams and the meaning behind them. After weeks of creating the mask and stage design and carefully selecting all the layers and details, it’s finally DONE!

This panorama is composed out of two separate images, which, if you hang them next to each other on the wall will form one artwork. Of the other part, I will create another backstage BLOG and VIDEO for you to read.

Don’t have the time to read? Check out the video below, which shows exactly how the image came alive and ended up!


Sometimes people ask me, what takes the most time in your visual and what do you focus on. For me, photography is a way to capture something I created earlier in my studio, so the creation part is the most time-consuming part of creating. Making the costumes, masks, and create the set design takes mostly two to 4 weeks till it’s completely done and I’m satisfied by the result.

For the mask, I made use of wings and feathers from a taxidermy website and shaped them in a way that the form reminded me of an ancient Greek helmet. I made this mask about a year ago, but never really found the right shape up until then, and also it was quite the search in which image I wanted to use this mask because it’s too beautiful to not focus on.


Goldspraying all the feathers piece by piece took me a while but was KEY to capture beautiful light in the costume. By spraying the feathers in a chrome gold I was making sure that the viewer would focus on the creature first, before discovering the rest of the imaginary landscape. An important part of the costume for me was to create a complementary color scheme that matched the set design and the overall look and feel of the image.

After a few hours of painting liquid latex on my body and making sure all the feathers were in place, I painted the other parts of my body in bronze and blue color which really created the vibe of a bird.


NOW it’s finally shooting time. I love the way the golden feathers and black liquid latex reflects the lights. It almost seems like a dreamy Bold and the Beautifull effect without having to smear some liquid on your lens. After shooting the birdlike creature which was going to play a big role in the image it was time to start building and photographing the decor.


The decor is completely handmade from scratch, I painted all the sticks, made flowers from fabric, and created the leaves. The other materials that I used are natural materials which I spray painted in another color to create a utopian feel. To keep the reflection of the decor in the original image I made use of mirrors that reflect the decor like it’s surrounded by water, and which creates a beautiful light in the final image.

At last, it was time to photoshop the two separate images together into one piece. In the video, you can see a short clip of all the layers and the amount of work it took to create the image that I wanted from scratch. The editing process of this image was also really time-consuming, in the end, it was just removing and placing the right pieces of the puzzle.


I’m curious what you think about the process and the end result. Hit me up in the comments down below and let me know what you think!