24 x 24 inch Pigment print with rhinestones
Mikveh is part of my Drag series, which looks at my queer becoming through portraits and self-portraits. The series represents the dualities of grief and excitement that can be equally present in transformation: the excitement of becoming and the grief of what is left behind. Mikveh depicts my partner shortly after a self-performed Jewish ritualistic immersion, in which we both fully submerged in a lake to leave behind elements of the past and emerge cleansed. I further rhinestone the photograph, queering the image and creating a veil the viewer must look through to access the image.
Van Der Hout’s work has been widely featured in publications including The Huffington Post, Vogue Italia, CBC and Reader’s Digest. He has exhibited across Canada, the United Kingdom, and in New York, most notably in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Collectors Series, as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival's primary exhibitions, and in The Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward festival. He has created public art for the Toronto Archives, the TTC, Nuit Blanche, and Pemberton Developments. Van Der Hout was awarded the Emerging Artist Award by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and has been supported by the Ontario Arts Council. He has a BFA in Photography from Toronto Metropolitan University and is a current MFA candidate at Parsons in New York City.