Rineke Dijkstra’s portrait series are some of the most celebrated art photographs of recent years.

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Rineke Dijkstra’s portrait series are some of the most celebrated art photographs of recent years. The subjects of these series have ranged from adolescent bathers to women with new-born babies, from Portuguese matadors to teenagers in nightclubs. Her images possess a psychological depth and social awareness that recall artists such as Diane Arbus and August Sander. They are analytic, yet full of empathy. Dijkstra says: ‘For me it is essential to understand that everyone is alone … in the sense that no one can completely understand someone else. I want to awaken definite sympathies for the person I have photographed.’ Dijkstra’s photographs features in Tate Modern’s new exhibition Cruel and Tender: the Real in the Twentieth Century Photograph.