PETER BAS MENSINK
Claude Vanheye was only 18 when he started photographing famous rock stars. His first posed photos of Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Frank Zappa and Michael Jackson inspired and encouraged him to look for the person behind the artist. In the 70s, he was not only The Netherlands youngest and most successful photographer, but also one of the leading photographers on the international pop scene. He operated both from his Amsterdam and Hollywood studio.
His posters decorated millions of walls in the rooms of teenagers and music lovers all over the world. His photographs have been used for album and CD covers for The Rolling Stones, George Benson, Blondie and Tom Waits, among others. He is now based in Amsterdam and works on his archive daily, selecting images for international art collectors, galleries and museums.
The strength of his photographs lies in their equality. He does not boost the artists ego, nor crush it. Always finding a soul connection with the performer is his challenge. Vanheye looks for a presence and a truth; the spectator finds himself on an intimate and personal level with the normally unreachable star. It is this simplicity and inevitable soul connection that the viewer feels and experiences.