With the opening of a solo-exhibition in Amsterdam's Melkweg Gallery on February 29th and the launch of a new book I will celebrate my longterm project 'Men at work', for which I photographed for almost 20 years. 'Men at work' portrays men from all over the world in their working place. (Go to this gallery to see images from the series, or check out a preview (PDF) of the book here)
The question raised by each of these images: is a man’s identity based on his work, or is his work based on his identity? It is up to the viewer to answer that question. For myself, I see a clear connection between the (socio-)geographic location where I take a picture and the role that work plays in the lives of men. In the wealthy, capitalist Western world, men seem to identify strongly with their work: they are what they do. In less advanced countries, this is often quite different. Here it works the other way around: people tend to do work that suits them.
The book is published by Oost West Thijs Best, text is in English. Order here. The exhibition in De Melkweg lasts till April 1st.