Some days ago I took the third picture of a nice family living in my street. I started portraying them in 2020, right before the pandemics rolled over each and everyone of us. Last year I returned with my cameras to their living room, but now I decided to ask them out, especially because they have this great cargo bike for the kids. So it was on a Sunday that we went together in the woods… Check out the album for the portraits from 2020 and 2021.
A while ago I took portraits of a young man in a beautiful white villa. That day the light was gorgeous and we had a good time taking the pictures in the several rooms of the historical building. As always after making the choice for the best pictures I was looking for text to go along with the images. I believe that this combination gives the best feed to the head of the viewer: the aesthetic image plus the endless stream of thoughts provoked by the words. Finding the right combination can be a long process, but all of a sudden the cognition is there. In retrospect this always seems rather mysterious to me.
All my life I have a big interest in philosophy, for me the thoughts and perspectives add depth to everyday life. I am fond of their merciless honesty and their contradictive inconsistencies. Also as a literary scholar I cherish a big love for poetry.
So what I did with the portraits of Emils was to combine them with quotes of Friedrich Nietzsche’s. I broke those quotes of the famous German philosopher down into pieces of poetry. For the whole album go here. Earlier I combined portraits of Abel with quotes of Andy Warhol. Let me know whether it resonates with you.
The other day I was biking through our street when I had a short glance at the big window of some neighbors. You know the size of Dutch windows: they are huge. I saw a young family sitting on their sofa and that was the moment when the pictures by Thomas Struth popped up in my memory. I really admire the family portraits of this German photographer. Maybe because they are somehow elevated and stately and you can look at them for quite some time. There is so much to see on them: like resemblances and differencies and an image of the period they were taken in.
That was the moment when my new plan was born: I am going to take pictures of families in their homes. And I hope to do this every year, so that I can catch the time passing by. The project is a bit similar to my former project My lovely neighbors, but back then it seemed that especially the children’s portraits would turn a bit outdated in a very short time. By taking pictures every year I embrace the concept time and alteration somehow. That is an intriguing thought. I hope to find many families that are willing to join in this multi-annual project. Let me know if you are interested!
The first family I took a picture of lives in my street and I was very happy to hear that they are expecting another baby, so the change within 12 months for the next picture will be for real.
Last year I made some portraits of a colleague who wanted to move out his appartment. His room was already almost empty, so the blank wall would be enough as a background. After the pictures were taken I planned to leave a lot of space to the spectator so everyone could come up with his or her own idea’s on the mood or thoughts of the portrayed man. Later I was playing with different sentences one could actually move so that this would show how it’s in the eye of the beholder (hence the title) how you perceive an image. However I did not find suitable sentences and so the pictures stayed nameless. The sentences somehow brought me to pop art because I imagined them in balloons surrounding the man. This is how Andy Warhol entered my arena. I decided to use quotes of him, playing with his artistic way to see things. In my opinion this works very well. If you are curious: have a look at the whole set: Eye of the beholder.
Today I went to the hospital to put the March-portrait on the wall. I took it one week ago and if you have an attentive look you see that the light changed to spring light. The wall at the Hospital is almost filled now. There is only one more missing. The project Ander licht is about to come to an end, one year will be rounded off next month. It was and still is a nice process covering one whole year catching the changing seasons and the shifting light. If you have the chance go to the hospital do it and have a look!
A new portrait for the hospital, for the series Ander licht. Again I went in the streets of Enschede in order to show the role the hospital plays for its inhabitants. Frans wears his normal jacket above his workwear, so that it shows the real person: a kind man who loves his job where he can help patients.
The eighth portrait of the year is on display now. Go visit the Stiltecentrum at the MST hospital at Enschede to see the whole series.
Today I added the seventh portrait to the expo at the hospital. It is nice to see how the exposition is growing. More faces, more stories. And the image of Enschede is getting more complete as well. Every person stands on a certain spot in the city and the observer can to venture a guess, where the exact location is. If you want to have a look at the hospital, just do so. There you can read the interviews as well.
The last days of October are ticking away, autumn is peaking before everything will turn to grey. But in this October portrait we caught Martin and the golden colours of the season – in order to keep both for a long time. For checking out the other portraits of employees of the hospital go to Ander licht.
If you are interested in their stories about their strength and inspiration you can go to the hospital and read them there.