Untitled, from the Zwarte Piet series, 1997
8 x 8 inches on 12 x 10 inch paper
Signed Edition of 30
(British Born 1961)
Each winter children in The Netherlands eagerly await the arrival of Sinterklass, who brings candy and presents to those who have been good. This white-bearded saint rides into town surrounded by his black-faced servants, the so-called Zwarte Piet. Usually portrayed by white women in elaborate clownlike costumes, the Zwarte Piet throw candy to the crowds of children and shake branches at the naughty. In her portraits of the Zwarte Piet, British photography Anna Fox explores this Dutch tradition, which raises issues of race, class, and gender - ultimately questioning what it means in the advent of growing racial diversity to hold onto a tradition that demonizes and mystifies the foreign. Fox's works have been exhibited internationally at such venues as The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography; The Saatchi Gallery, London, Rotterdam Biennale; and The National Portrait Gallery London. Fox earned a BA with honors in photography from the West Surrey College of Art & Design in 1986.