Erik Kessels

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We live in an age where most of our creative tools we use are close to perfection. Our computers, graphic programs, phones, applications and cameras are there to help us, but don’t fuel our creativity.
Imagination and creativity need to come from ourselves. From our personal experiences, obsessions and fascinations.
Society teaches us to follow certain patterns and rules, but for creative people this is killing.
Erik Kessels will speak about how to avoid these rules, break with the patterns and refresh your imagination on a daily basis.


Erik Kessels is a Dutch artist and designer,with great interest in the vernacular. Erik Kessels is since 1996 Creative Partner of communications agency KesselsKramer in Amsterdam/London and has won many international awards with his communication work.
As an artist and curator Kessels has published over 75 books of his ‘re-appropriated’ images: In almost every picture (2001-2021), Shit (2018) and Read Naked (2019). Since 2000, he has been an editor of the alternative photography magazine Useful Photography and has written the international bestseller Failed It!
He has taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam), KABK (The Hague), Écal (Lausanne), Raffles (Milan) and at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture where he curated a celebration of amateurism.


Kessels made and curated exhibitions such as Loving Your Pictures, Mother Nature, 24HRS in Photos, Album Beauty, Unfinished Father. He als co-curated an exhibition called From Here on together with Martin Parr, Joachim Schmid, Clement Cheroux and Joan Fontuberta. In 2010 Kessels was awarded with the Amsterdam Prize of the Arts, in 2016 nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Until 2019 his mid-career retrospective was shown in Turin, Düsseldorf, Budapest and he exhibited recently in the SFMOMA. He was called “a visual sorcerer” by Time Magazine and a “Modern Anthropologist” by Vogue (Italia).


Erik’s Masterclass