University of Amsterdam Rare Collections and the Press Museum in Amsterdam acquired 20 years of André Thijssen’s printed commissioned work. Hereby a brief interview via email with the artist.
Why are these institutions interested in prints of your work?
I needed a good home with public access for my ever expanding archive of commissioned work.
The University of Amsterdam’s department of Rare Collections and the Press Museum showed great interest.
I think they like my my attitude.
I made a selection of the work stored here on my shelves since not every image has museum quality in my opinion.
The curator of the Press Museum asked me to write down some notes on the work.
It was an interesting exercise overseeing the body of work made in the years that I am active as a freelance image maker.
Did I succeed in what has been my aim since I started my carrier?
It has always been my intention to present a surprising, autonomous approach of the subject matter.
If the approach does not surprise myself the image isn’t good enough to be printed.
I often use existing material from my own photography archive making an associative link with the article.
An intriguing editorial image should work as a teaser to start reading, rather than illustrate the content at a single glance.
I actually see the latter as an offence to the readers.
Unfortunately too many publishers and editors, out of fear of losing advertisers and readers are following the easy, thirteen in a dozen method of filling white space for the sake of having printed paper to sell.
There’s too much of a magazine diarrhoea around.
Would you buy a magazine that does not take you seriously?
How many photographs does it concern here?
It’s a selection of Dutch and international magazines, annual reports and printed matter for cultural events and measures over a meter in total.
Don’t ask me how many photographs this means, just an awful lot 😉
On August 1st this year I will be active as a freelancer for forty years.
Selecting this material for interested collectors felt a bit like closing off my carrier but nothing is less true.
New work will be added in the future.
What are they going to do with the work?
At first deacidification, then archiving for future exhibitions and as study material.
It will, more than when stored in my studio, be available to the public.
How much money was involved with this transaction?