Where were you when you first saw Robert Frank’s The Americans?
Probably in Haarlem, The Netherlands, in the town I grew up in. Or in New York. I had a vigorous hunger for books so I am not sure when The Americans came into the picture. I realized after seeing it that Robert Frank had influenced a lot of photographers after him.
What is the importance of The Americans to you?
It is a classic. There is Eugene Atget, Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Gary Winogrand in chronological order. The Americans was not just the photos, it was the book as a whole. It is logical that Frank started making films because The Americans is almost like a movie; the order of the photos, the way they follow each other, it was a very deliberate way of putting a book together. There are images in that book that will stay with me forever. The book made me aware of what one can do in book form, so it helped me in my own practice of making books and zines.
How has The Americans affected the way you practice or think about photography today?
It affected me back then; how it affects me now is hard to say. The influence took place already. I think now I have moved on to a whole other way of looking at photography that has possibly not much to do with The Americans. That doesn’t mean that the book did not have a profound affect on me. Books like American Photographs (Walker Evans), The Americans and Tulsa (Larry Clark) have made their mark on my practice. Robert Frank’s view is timeless in this book; it will always be an important book for artists to look at and absorb.