Erik Kessels

Erik Kessels C Nrw Forum Duesseldorf Foto B Babic 17

& Friends

August 12 – November 5 2017

Interview In London

Erik Kessels ranks among the most important creative professionals in the world. He co-founded the international agency KesselsKramer in Amsterdam and is not only a rock star among advertisers, but also an artist, curator, publicist and a passionate collector of photographs. 

The Erik Kessels & Friends exhibition is the first comprehensive Germany-wide retrospective of this Dutch artist and advertiser who has a preference for the imperfect and the incomplete. The retrospective will showcase the most important works of the past 20 years. Aside from that, he has invited along five friends, the artists Paul Kooiker, Joan Fontcuberta, Peter Piller, Joachim Schmid and Ruth van Beek, who will be intervening in the survey exhibition with their own works.

Advertising is all about the perfect picture. For Erik Kessels perfect pictures are boring. As both an artist and an advertiser, Kessels is interested in flawed, accidental and dissonant photographs, those that are overexposed and blurred, the ones where a finger is obscuring the lens and where there are those unfortunate poses and moments of weakness. This is because these images are human.

He collects all types of photographs that he finds in his own and other people's albums as well as on the Internet. He does not alter or manipulate the images but, instead, he collects, sorts and recontextualises the found items and tells humorous stories of families and strangers, coincidences and destinies, of art and commerce, of remembering and forgetting, of succeeding and failing. His works constitute a narrative photography fair and they leave room for the unfinished, for coincidences, failures and for the imperfect as well as,at times, even some very personal insights into his own family portraits.

Project partners

Partners Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf Otto Beisheim Stiftung Hoffmann Liebs Max Brown Midtown CCS