It is never too late to be exposed to new or unknown (by me) artists. I did not know of the existence of Vincent Mentzel, although he had a rich career as photojournalist since the early 1970s. His work was published mainly in the major Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad but also in  NewsweekTimeLife, and The New York Times. The gorgeous museum of Hilversum, now a familiar place, presents his oeuvre under the title “Photographer of the Power”. I don’t like this title, as it has limited bearings to his talent. Yes, he did photograph extensively the Dutch political arena and class, but not only. He also documented the social and political fights of the average Dutch citizens (they seem long forgotten now), made extraordinary portraits of all sorts of people, like Vaclav Havel or Femke Halsema, the mayor of Amsterdam (whom he managed to render almost sympathetic), travelled to various parts of the world including China, Iran or Suriname, and brought back compelling images of the ordinary men and women in their day-to-day existence. The man, now 75, enjoys the fame he deserves. I truly hope someone will make a book of his masterpieces. `

Demonstration of old soldiers, The Hague, 30 August 1979 ©Vincent Mentzel
Demonstration against weaponization of the country ©Vincent Mentzel
Vaclav Havel ©Vincent Mentzel
Beijing, 4 June 1989 ©Vincent Mentzel
Femke Halsema, 13 December 1997 ©Vincent Mentzel
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