Hans Niezen about Willem Wernsen

Hans Niezen, photographer, www.hansniezen.nl
April 13, 2013. Speech at the opening of the exhibition ‘People of Paris’ in Galerie Pitt & Co, Amersfoort, the Netherlands.

Thinking of Willem Wernsen, I see glass.
His own (often dusty) glasses, the viewer glass, the glass of lenses and of course the glass to protect photos in a frame.
Willem works a lot with glass.

Glass is clear, sharp, transparent en also pure.
A glass window is used because it acts like a mirror. The reflection creates another world. To capture that, is what Willem does in sharp contours and beautiful hard contrasts.

At the same time glass is vulnerable.
I know Willem is too – his health, Margaret – disarmingly transparent.
A sincere man, opposed to decoration, fuss and unnecessary boasting.
The honesty, sincerity, pureness en clearness, one look at Willem to see it all.
As clear as glass.

To me all reasons to enjoy his work and to be happy for being his friend. We raised our glasses many times and always left our fingerprints on the glass. That same fingerprint I recognize in Willem´s work … his own style, unmistakably recognizable.
Like the way he works, nothing complicated, just some small talk and then a photo. And always the integrity, nobody loses his/her dignity, never a showcase.

His large body and that small camera … an almost endearing image.
Willem, I admire you for yourself and your work and I´m looking forward to the next time we will.