In the viewfinder

Portrait and self-portrait
Gustave is his own model when investigating exposure situations. He shapes the choreography that is in his head aided by tripod and self-timer, or by having a member of the household press the button at the critical moment. Sometimes boredom or loneliness can spark off a series, such as the matchboxes he made to surprise his beloved when she was away from home for several months.

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In the portraits of housemates, friends and acquaintances light and composition carry the same weigth als the person depicted. Light, attributes and other details have been noticed and weighed. As happened here, with Frits.

Street photography
Henri Cartier-Bresson’s famous ‘moment décisif’ may, as far as Gustave is concerned, be staged. He feels more at home with easier-going photo-aesthetics, such as William Klein’s, who would ask people to pose so as to repeat a missed moment. Composition is not sacrosanct, even though many of Gustave’s negatives do not need cropping. For example this Saturday afternoon in Céret.

Gustave photographs street scenes in his own town and elsewhere, and takes his camera when he goes out to see events: the carnival parade in ‘het Kielegat’, the October fair. Also the less picturesque sides of the city interest him. In later, digital years his analogue street experience proves useful for the annual MOTI photo contests (read more here).

We must have people in it, says Gustave. ‘Calendar photography’ in which human beings are conspicuously absent doesn’t stir anything in him. He does appreciate Fay Godwin’s landscapes, in which some trace of human presence may always be found.

His preference is with cloudscapes and the industrial landscapes he will visit so often during his later work as a courier. The same themes keep his interest in the digital era. He also ‘portrays’ plants and flowers, pictures in which the suggestion of movement plays a part.

Percussion band Motel Bokassa, group portraits, action photos. Gustave designs and executes the matrix light show during Bokassa gigs.
Presentation of fashion collection ’t Klerewijf (artist Gerrie Moll).

Several of Gustave’s photos have been bought by the national network of art libraries – for example this one. The Museum Boymans van Beuningen in Rotterdam buys one of his photographs, and in 1983 the Breda police publishes his photo of a scuffle during the annual Jazz Fest in their Annual Report for 1983.