Joakim Eskildsen is a Danish photographer educated in Finland at Aalto University and one of the most published and recognized photographers to emerge from the Helsinki School.
He is most noted for his documentary photographic monographs that take a very personal view in depicting communities on the fringes of society. His first international break through came with his book Roma Journeys with the introduction by Gunter Grass. It was a seven year project that followed the Roma people’s movement from India to the Nordic region. Working in cooperation with his wife Cia Rinne, this book set a new standard in how we interpret a community that has been so culturally isolated by the western world for centuries. Throughout all his various publications, Eskildsen has demonstrated a innate sense for for capturing an intimacy with his subjects much in the same manner as Diane Arbus. It’s not one factor but a combination of many that establishes Eskildsen as one of the most notable documentary photographers of his generation. Whether it be the light or the temperament of any given moment, his ability to focus on the center of what he feels is the essential element in a given picture, lending it a life of its own.
Homework is an on going project beginning back in 2005, that follows the Eskildsen’s families journey in their pursuit to find a permanent home of their own. Seven residencies and three countries later, Eskildsen with his wife and two children have finally found there place just outside Potsdam in the countryside. It’s here that the project truly comes to life as Eskildsen documents the process of the rebuilding of their home through his children’s eyes. It’s an intimate look into the nature of innocence that is filled with the wonderment of curiosity, exploration and the lightness of being part of a new beginning. His images differ from the family portraits of such renown photographers such as Sally Mann and Larry Towell in that their more of a reflection from a child’s world that’s looking out to see in.
Joakim Eskildsen was born in Copenhagen in 1971 and currently lives in Germany. His work has been exhibited extensively around the world in both solo and group exhibitions, including the solo exhibitions American Realities, Haus des Buches, (Leipzig, 2018), Nordic Signs and The Roma Journeys, Purdy Hicks Gallery, (London, 2018). He has also had several monographs published, including Nordic Signs (1995), Bluetide (1997), iChickenMoon (1999), The Roma Journeys (2007, Steidl), American Realities (2016, Steidl), Cornwall (2018, Mare) and his series Home Works (2020). He is a member of The Helsinki School focusing on contemporary Nordic, documentary photography.