Avenue / Literary Landscapes [1984-1989]

AVENUE was a very interesting glossy magazine which specialized in the combination of fashion, travel stories, food and literature. No stock photography, no recycled stories, everything was home made. They invited novelist and leading photographers to work together. I can’t imagine that they ever made a profit. No wonder that the monthly does not exist anymore but what a loss.

After I left the academy of art of Amsterdam I went unabashed over to the offices of AVENUE and proposed to do feature stories on writers and their landscapes in collaboration with the Dutch poet and writer Willem van Toorn. I showed them my black and white work on the landscape were Flaubert’s Madame Bovary was situated in France.

To start with we went in 1983 to the nearby Flemish town of Aalst to work on the landscape of the Flemish writer Louis Paul Boon. He wrote about the working conditions of the working class and the influence of the Catholic Church and socialism on the daily life.

A year later we went over to communist Czech Republic to work on a story about Franz Kafka and Jaroslav Hasek. After that came Siegfried Sassoon the famous world war poet but also the writer of the Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man.

E.L. Doctorow was the excuse to travel to New York and explore the Bronx and other parts of the town. And we finished the project with a story on the part of Amsterdam were I was born and were Willem van Toorn grew up: Amsterdam - West (the opening spread is of the apartment building were I lived at that time). The Dutch writers which were presented in this story were K.Schippers, Bernlef and Kees Fens.