Born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Hans Neleman credits much of his sensitivity to art with growing up in a country where great artists have abounded for centuries.

"Growing up in Holland, you have that wealth of information from all the great Dutch artists. Just being able to walk into museums and look at all those wonderful compositions of Mondrian and the delight of Rembrandt and the hardships of Van Gogh was great."

After high school, Neleman moved from Rotterdam to London, where he took basic art courses at Goldsmith's University. His interests at the time were centered around painting and sculpture, though he did take one course in photography. It was that course that drew his attention to the speed and spontaneity of the camera.

"What drove me to do photography was the fact that it was so immediate," he says.

The next year Neleman began studying photography fulltime at the Polytechnic of Central London. His first major recognition in photography came in 1982, he was named Kodak Young Photographer of the Year.
Hans Neleman
Hans Neleman
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In 1983, after receiving his B.A. From Polytechnic, Neleman came to New York to work on his master's degree at New York University.

"This is where life intersected with a whole bunch of other people," he recalls. "All of a sudden, there I was face-to-face listening to Robert Mapplethorpe and Duane Michals and Arnold Newman."

Soon after leaving NYU, Neleman opened his first studio in Manhattan's Soho district and today, a mere dozen years later, is one of the city's most sought after advertising shooters. His clients include many of the heaviest hitters in advertising, including: Kodak, Lexus, Fila, Coca Cola, IBM, Sony Music, Warner Bros., Grand Marnier - as well as magazines such as Rolling Stone, Vogue, Fortune and Vanity Fair.

He has won scores of major art and self-promotion awards and has had his work widely exhibited in Amsterdam, Mexico, Chicago and New York.