Art AffairsCulture

Art Affairs: Money – Ed van der Elsken

By July 16, 2019 No Comments

‘I want to make movies as an individual expression, not to make money.’ Ed van der Elsken, a Dutch photographer, seemed to care little about money. If he needed some, he would send the same proposal to different money lenders, increasing his chances of raising funds for his next project, a method that always seemed to get him where he wanted.

Damrak, Amsterdam, 1983 – Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken

Ed van der Elsken was a troublemaker, a know-it-all who wasn’t afraid of anybody and who seemed to be willing to do anything to capture the perfect picture. Often he tried to provoke reactions from the subjects he was photographing by yelling at them or making provoking gestures, which seemed to work most of the time.

He was, and still is, viewed as an enfant terrible, but has also gained a lot of admiration with his carefree way of living and primary focus on taking photos, instead of focusing on where to exhibit or what to publish next.

Paleisstraat, Amsterdam, 1982 – Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken

He started his career in the Netherlands, where his Amsterdam street photography became some of his most famous work. After roaming the streets of Amsterdam, Van der Elsken also expanded his journey to all over the world, picturing the streets of Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong as well as travelling to Chili, Tanzania and Bangladesh.

Marseille, 1974 – Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken

The Nederlands Fotomuseum is currently displaying a big selection of Van der Elsken’s work, truly showing, in the words of Iggy Pop, Van der Elsken’s lust for life. Hidden behind his banter and big words lies a very clear message: do as you please and live life to the fullest.

The exhibition Lust for Life | Ed van der Elsken is on display until October 6th, 2019 at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam.

‘I want to make movies as an individual expression, not to make money.’ Ed van der Elsken, a Dutch photographer, seemed to care little about money. If he needed some, he would send the same proposal to different money lenders, increasing his chances of raising funds for his next project, a method that always seemed to get him where he wanted.

Damrak, Amsterdam, 1983 – Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken

Ed van der Elsken was a troublemaker, a know-it-all who wasn’t afraid of anybody and who seemed to be willing to do anything to capture the perfect picture. Often he tried to provoke reactions from the subjects he was photographing by yelling at them or making provoking gestures, which seemed to work most of the time.

He was, and still is, viewed as an enfant terrible, but has also gained a lot of admiration with his carefree way of living and primary focus on taking photos, instead of focusing on where to exhibit or what to publish next.

Paleisstraat, Amsterdam, 1982 – Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken

He started his career in the Netherlands, where his Amsterdam street photography became some of his most famous work. After roaming the streets of Amsterdam, Van der Elsken also expanded his journey to all over the world, picturing the streets of Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong as well as travelling to Chili, Tanzania and Bangladesh.

Marseille, 1974 – Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken

The Nederlands Fotomuseum is currently displaying a big selection of Van der Elsken’s work, truly showing, in the words of Iggy Pop, Van der Elsken’s lust for life. Hidden behind his banter and big words lies a very clear message: do as you please and live life to the fullest.

The exhibition Lust for Life | Ed van der Elsken is on display until October 6th, 2019 at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam.

Annabel Simjouw

Author Annabel Simjouw

Annabel Simjouw (1994) studies Clinical Forensic Psychology and writes about art for Spiegeloog. Besides visiting musea she likes to read and cook, combining this into bookclub nights with friends.

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