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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father

Work / Art

Erik Kessels’ very poignant new project borne of his father’s stroke

Kesselskramer co-founder Erik Kessels’ side projects usually seem light-hearted: take his book Attack of the Giant Fingers, for instance. His latest project, though, has a decidedly more serious slant, having been borne of his father suffering a stroke. For the project, named Unfinished Father, Erik looked to his pa’s passion for restoring Fiat 500 (Topolino) cars. Prior to his stroke, Kessels senior was halfway through completing his fifth of such restorations, but it was left unfinished since the attack left him barely able to move or speak.

For Erik, the incomplete carapace “came to represent his unfinished father,” according to the Fotografia Europea International Festival which is showing the project. For the festival, Erik transported the Topolino in its half-finished state, and photographed it for a new book. It’s a poignant reflection on things left unsaid and undone, and in the majestic setting of pillared ceilings and stone floors it feels particularly moving.

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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father

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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father

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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father

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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father

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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father

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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father

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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father

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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father (Polaroid)

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Erik Kessels: Unfinished Father (Polaroid)