I was a boy of about twelve years of age when the school teacher handed out test forms. Most of the questions on the form were of a simple mathematic nature, and there were some questions that seemed to have some psychological relevance too.
One question in particular I remember very well: ‘Who would you like to be?’
I had to reread the question twice because I had anticipated something like: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
Biting on my pencil I paused for a while and then I jotted down: “Me, but somewhere else, away from here.”
They sent me to a school psychologist for that answer and there I learned that most kids had filled in the name of their rock or pop idol. At least half of them wanted to be John Lennon.
None of these kids became a legend like John Lennon. Neither did I, but I ended up away from there, just as I had hoped.
Not being who you are or what you are has always fascinated me and this may very well explain why I have photographed so many transvestites, transgenders and transsexuals. And last but not the least, people who are into dollification. For the last decade dollification has been my most important photographic subject and checking my now finished site I realize I forgot to add a gallery with dolls.
The current front page of this site is dedicated to WAM – Wet and Messy. The fluid can be yogurt, milk, honey, fluid rubber, anything goes. Yes, it is a fetish, and I had never heard of it until Selma walked into the studio and asked for yogurt.
The picture posted here is a variation on the one featured on the front page, showing three different poses.
While working on this site, I go through my archives a lot. There are quite a few pictures archived. I have been photographing for four decades now. Sometimes I am lucky, and I find a photograph that I thought was lost, like this portrait of one of the best photographers of our time: Ralph Gibson. I am really not sure when it was taken, but I believe it was 1981. Location: His Soho loft where Lustrum Press resided.
I have added Dutch writer Theun de Vries (1907–2005) to the [ Artists ] section of the portfolio. These photographs were taken in 2001. He could get very excited in a discussion about politics, as shown in the second photograph.
The Rockers series was shot in 1977 and 1978. There are more than a thousand negatives in my archives, and they are all shot in black & white as you can see on the [ Rockers portfolio ] page.
While going through my archives I recently found a return envelope, coming from the French magazine Photographiques and then it all came back to me. I had shot two rolls of 120 film in color because they had asked for a cover in color. Of those two films – each containing twelve pictures – I selected three. In the end Photographiques published all prints in black & white without informing me. Only decades later I found out that they were actually published because my son Max came across the issue on Ebay while searching for my work.
I decided to remaster the negatives because of slight damages in the background and put at least one of these prints up for sale as a limited edition museum quality print. The edition is limited to 50 prints. All prints are signed and numbered on the back of the photograph.
I always have a hard time reading what others see in my photographs. These interpretations rarely cover what I feel behind the camera while photographing, but I really liked these two articles written by Lorenzo Pereira.