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An Interview with Erik Kessels

The Dutch artist, designer, curator and book publisher has been shortlisted for The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016 for his Unfinished Father exhibition.

Kessels’ father, who suffered a stroke, is a restorer of old Fiat cars, the most recent of which was unfinished but now features in his 2016 exhibit at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. The photographs surrounding the Fiat Topolino are records his father made of each stage of the work.

In general I’m not interested in a single photograph. I’m more interested in a story, or the story behind it, or how a series of photographs can tell a certain story

Eric Kessels, via

Kessels is best known for his immersion in found and vernacular photography, with the larger-than-life 24 Hours In Photos installations, at several worldwide locations from 2012 and 2014, perhaps serving as its apogee. He is creative director of the KesselsKramer advertising agency in Amsterdam, and also runs KesselsKramer Publishing there along with co-founder Johan Kramer. He has most recently published a book entitled Failed It!, showcasing the best examples of mistakes across a range of creative works including photography.

Featured image attribution: Martin Kraft [CC BY-SA 3.0 or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons