Sunday, July 09, 2006


C’est a light of love

How I’d love to be in Corb!no’s shoes! He has been able to perfect his love for the craft of photography, and in the process create his own inimitable style—a style Wim van Sinderen, in "Photographers in the Netherlands: An Anthology 1852-2002" described as ‘a unique combination of empathy and perspective.’ He has become one of Holland’s most sought-after portrait photographers. He has such a loving bond with his father that he can photograph him nude, in a portrait that says at least as much about the son as the parent. He has made a breathtaking image of the Rosenberg Trio in a mature reinterpretation of Eva Besnyö’s timeless 1931 icon. He has recorded Misha Mengelberg’s deafness for the ages. He can stir my own feelings in the group portrait of N.U.H.R., when I spot my old classmate Eddie. He can make me recall that Céline van Balen was the only photographer who would not let me interview her. And what about that thrilling, enviable image of Dolly Parton, with Corb!no’s shadow falling so sharply over it? Or the poignant, loving, protective image of the feet of ballet dancer Joke Zijlstra?

Corb!no (Cornelis Maarten Corbijn van Willenswaard, 1959) makes photos that shine with love. Love for human beings, love for the métier. That love is summed up in one line on Corb!no’s website. Click on ‘Loves’ and you’ll read, ‘This part is still in progress.’

It’s true. Love really is a verb.

©Pim Milo, 2005

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