My life and career have pretty much revolved around pictures. So when Frederique asked me a few years ago to help edit her first body of "serious" work I was, of course, curious but at the same time a little suspicious.
Frederique happens to be my granddaughter. I call her Bo.
I remember sitting behind her antiquated computer in her tiny apartment tucked away in the center of Amsterdam, playing the keyboard, not knowing what to expect. After an hour or so I sat back and took a deep breath. A lot of snapshots, I thought.
That was then.
A week ago we skyped. She wanted to show me a series of photographs she'd just taken in and around the place she now calls her private paradise down south, away from home. "I'll e-mail them to you as attachments, Oops" she said.
When I opened her pictures the following morning--I think there were about 12 of them--it felt like unwrapping precious gifts. Simple at first glance, these were by no means ordinary images. Each asked for further scrutiny, for unexpected discovery. Luminosity adding dimension; light or the absence of it, depth; color, visual shock.
And I could not help but admit to myself "this is more than photography, this is the work of a masterful story teller, a dream weaver of beauty and decay, spinning tiny tales of wonder, of mystery, whispering to all of us who understand "come with me and see for yourself, this is where I live, this is who I am".
Bo, my granddaughter.
Eelco Wolf February 2009
Former Executive Director, Magnum Photos,
Vice President Corporate Communications, Agfa Corporation
Worldwide Director of Communications, Polaroid Corporation