Dutch. Born in 1925 in Amsterdam. Died in 1990 in Edam.
He was known as the enfant terrible of Dutch photography. During his forty-year career as a photographer and filmmaker, van der Elsken produced a considerable creative work, both in photography and books as well as in filmmaking.
[...] Van der Elsken had in him an insatiable thirst for images. The world was his territory; from his birthplace Amsterdam until Africa or Far East, he was the attentive, intuitive and nonconformist chronicler of the streets or the poetry of everyday life.
Even if his energy, his attraction for street life and margins, his humor and irreverence, that are consistent in his art work, remind us Weegee whose work he admired, his subjectively heavily loaded images, his experiencing photography as an existential experiment and diary seem to foresee some Nordic photographers (Petersen or Engström) or even Nan Goldin.