Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990) was born in Amsterdam, where he was trained as a stonecutter and sculptor until 1944. Inspired by the photojournalistic Picture Post and Weegee’s Naked City he shifted his interest from sculpting to photography in the late 1940s. When he tried his luck Paris in 1950, he took up a job printing photos in the darkrooms of Magnum agency. There he met his future wife, the Hungarian photographer Ata Kandó, who was twelve years his senior and was part of the bohemian rive gauche. Through the friendships and acquaintances of Ata, Van der Elsken became one of the best-known documentalists of that seminal post-war scene. Van der Elsken divorced Ata in 1955 and moved back to Amsterdam, where his photo novel Love on the Left Bank – starring Australian bohémienne Vali Myers – was published by De Bezige Bij one year later. The influential edition was to be the first of some twenty photo books published over the following decades.
Van der Elsken travelled extensively and documented the people and places he encountered during his journeys in warm and candid photos. His book Hallo! brings together images from all over the world. Often juxtaposed on facing pages, the photographs document the late 1970s in striking and colourful images. Some photos are briefly commented on by Van der Elsken on the final pages of the book. This copy from the Sea Urchin archives is in fine condition and has no ownership or other marks.