Nederlands Fotomuseum : Chas Gerretsen : Starring Chas Gerretsen

 The Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam is presenting a excellent exhibition which sadly finishes on Might 8. “Starring Chas Gerretsen” is the very first retrospective of Dutch photographer Chas Gerretsen. (Robert Capa Gold Medal winner of 1973).
Overlooked nowadays, he was alternately a photojournalist and continue to photographer.
Thanks to Monika Pfandzelter for supplying us with all this content.


Dutch photographer Chas Gerretsen is remaining rediscovered, 30 many years soon after he gave up images

Is there these kinds of a factor as objective journalism? Are photographers authorized to choose a stand on a subject? Can a photograph be responsible of a little something? These crucial themes are mirrored in the oeuvre of the exceptionally versatile photographer Chas Gerretsen. In accordance to Chas, “most photojournalists subconsciously, censor on their own because they have no impact, in which shots get posted. It’s tricky for them to clearly show a opposite view, or to veer from present working day popular view, if they want to go on to be posted. As a freelance photojournalist, I was not controlled, but now in the late sixties, my illustrations or photos have been.”

Till Might 8th, the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam offers a choice of above 200 images in the retrospective exhibition ’Starring Chas Gerretsen’. Guest curator Iris Sikking says: “This exhibition usually takes the audiences and readers to the battlefields of South-East Asia, Vietnam and Cambodia, the streets of Santiago de Chile, the set of ‘Apocalypse Now’ and onto movie-sets and homes of Hollywood stars in the seventies and eighties. These four independent chapters in Chas’s perform and existence appear to be at initial sight to have very little relationship with every single other. But with each other they constitute the amazing foundations of Chas’s photographic oeuvre and life.”

Journey and operate

Gerretsen grew up in Holland, but lived exterior of Europe for most of his lifestyle. Driven by an unquenchable curiosity he still left Europe, instantly after his 18th birthday, and went in 1961 to Australia he hasn’t stopped touring because. Chas begun photographing to display his family members how he was carrying out: the folks he achieved, destinations and conditions he skilled.

He grew to become a qualified photographer during the Tet-offensive, in the commencing of 1968, soon after he had walked into Vietnam: with 75 cents and a Minox-B miniature camera in his pocket. Chas started out as a battle cameraman for UPI-TN. Not liking to be advised the place and what to movie, he quit UPI-TN and became a freelance digicam guy. Soon thereafter, he obtained his 1st nevertheless digital camera: investing a Nikon F digital camera, with a 105mm lens, with his pal, the American war photographer Dana Stone. Gerretsen offered his to start with photos to UPI for $5 for every detrimental – no picture credit. (In 2013 this camera with ‘Dana Stone’ scratched into the physique, was auctioned at WestLicht in Vienna for a hammer-rate of 14.400 Euro. Dana Stone had been captured in Cambodia with Sean Flynn in May 1970.)

Not only did Gerretsen go over the war in Vietnam and Cambodia but also a few years later the army coup d’état in Chile, on 11. September 1973. For his coverage of the latter, Gerretsen obtained ‘The Robert Capa Gold Medal’ award for “best published photographic reporting from overseas demanding excellent braveness and enterprise”. In a small time from 1967 to 1975 Chas Gerretsen modified his photographic job from cameraman to combat photographer, to photojournalist and storyteller. Chas showed the everyday living of ordinary people today: schoolkids, market females, rebel troopers, farmers or politicians in the instances of poverty, unrest and conflicts.

From photojournalist to clearly show biz

In 1975 Chas Gerretsen turned his back again on the true fight fields he went to perform in Hollywood.

In Los Angeles, Gerretsen widened his palette of pictures in a further job transform to portrait and advertising and marketing photography. Within just two months Chas experienced photoshoots with superstars like Barbara Streisand, Margot Kidder, Sally Kellerman, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Talia Shire, David Carradine and Alfred Hitchcock.

Only a calendar year later on, Gerretsen was questioned by Francis Ford Coppola to operate on the now epic Vietnam war movie: ‘Apocalypse Now’. Hollywood design, Coppola desired a fight photographer for a battle film: Gerretsen’s photographic profession experienced come complete circle, from ‘Real to Reel’. The pics taken in the 6 months on the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s master piece display that the barrier among real wars and fake kinds is in some cases hard to discern.

Through the subsequent 12 decades Chas founded his individual picture company, Mega Manufacturing Inc., started a effective image-studio and also grew to become a filmmaker. Chas experienced more than 500 famous people in entrance of his lens, musicians, actors, producers and sportspersons.

In 2019, KINO-Rotterdam and the NFM created a 32 minutes extensive video clip documentary: ‘Dutch Angle: Chas Gerretsen & Apocalypse Now’. The mini-doc was a good results in Bologna, at the movie festival ‘Il Cinema Ritrovato 2019‘ and Francis Ford Coppola involved the documentary in his ‘Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut’ Blu-Ray-disk-set.

Why was this image exhibition named ‘Starring Chas Gerretsen’?

The NFM invited independent curator Iris Sikking, who entwined Chas’s existence with his photographic function. In the past only the illustrations or photos of the coup d’état in Chile have been proven in exhibitions all over the entire world. Through his carrier Gerretsen was typically recognised for this protection of the military services coup in Chile just lately enthusiasts of the Francis Ford Coppola war movie ‘Apocalypse Now’ discovered Chas for the images he took on the filmset of this epic Vietnam-war movie in 1976.

The retrospective at the museum in Rotterdam is Gerretsen’s 1st solo-show, highlighting his evolution as photographer and artist. Readers have the opportunity to get to know the total scope of Gerretsen’s images. The exhibition and accompanying publication mirror on an remarkable and unpredictable profession, both of those provide a powerful impression of Gerretsen. Iris Sikking points out: “Gerretsen’s episodic job is potentially finest summed up as a life lived as a sequence of individual scenes. The website link among them is Chas himself, which is why I have given him the starring purpose in the exhibition and the linked guide. Not to area him on a pedestal, but to give him the recognition that his photography so richly deserves.”

People of the Fotomuseum in Rotterdam can adhere to the photojournalist from the warzones of South-East Asia on to South-The usa. A big part of the exhibition promotions with the social unrest and problems of this continent. From the starting of 1973 Gerretsen coated the demonstrations, riots and issues of Chile, led by president Salvador Allende. On September 11, 1973 Chas included jointly with his friend Sylvain Julienne the coup d’état. Julienne and Gerretsen had just begun a lifelong friendship. Chas worked at the time with the French photograph agency Gamma and Sylvain was with the competing agency, Sygma.

Chas says of himself: “I was led by curiosity. Was everyday living seriously as depicted in Hollywood movies, was war as glamorous as in the films of my youth? I wanted to exhibit what I observed merely, what was going on in the earth.” Real photojournalism, which has now turn out to be true artwork.

The NFM has prolonged Chas’s retrospective due to its good achievements for two much more months it will now finish, following 7 months, on the 8th of May well 2022.


Nederlands Fotomuseum
Statendam 1
3072 MD Rotterdam

October 16. 2021 until eventually May well 08. 2022
Tuesday to Sunday : 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Coinciding with the exhibition three publications have been printed in 2021:

“Starring Chas Gerretsen”
256-website page, softcover catalogue, accompanying the exhibition in the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam. By Iris Sikking, Chas Gerretsen and the Nederlands Fotomuseum.
Released 2021 by Lecturis and created by Kummer&Herrman. ISBN: 9789462264069


“Apocalypse Now, The Lost Photo Archive, by Chas Gerretsen”
256-page, hardcover, photobook. This reserve is filled to the brim with legendary images from the filmset in the Philippines, 1976. Published 2021 by Prestel Verlag, Munich/ Penguin/ Random Household, N.Y., and intended by Sybren Kuiper (-SYB-). ISBN: 978-3-7913-8808-3


The photographers version of “The Shed Image Archive”
is constrained to 30 copies in a linen-included clamshell circumstance it includes a few signed prints from the set of ‘Apocalypse Now,’ taken 1976 in the Philippines.
Accessible at the Nederlands Fotomuseum for the period of the exhibition at: 495€.


“Het wonderbaarlijke en vreemde leven van Chas Gerretsen”
352-website page paperback with 82 shots. The autobiography of Chas Gerretsen, his daily life till 1990.
Released in Dutch language, (originally penned in English: ‘The strange and excellent life of Chas Gerretsen’) Released 2021 by Uitgeverij: Growth-Geschiedenis. ISBN: 9789024434473