Exhibition “RIVAD. Grand Old Man of Danish Photography”

“RIVAD. Grand Old Man of Danish Photography”

Welcome to the opening with Rivad present – Saturday June 20 13-17 Open Studio Sunday June 21, 11-17 – Until July 26, 2009.

Rivad Poster

Viggo Rivad (born July 3, 1922) and I got to know each other during a trip to China in 1983. It is a tremendous joy and honour for me that he immediately accepted to show a small selection of his huge production in my gallery. Although he is too humble to accept it, I have learned so much and been inspired over the years by his art and generous friendship.

Above you’ll get an impression of his remarkable achievements – the finest awards in Denmark, the books by and about him, the numerous travels and productions around the world.

Viggo Rivad, this Grand Old Man of his trade, has never lived from his photography; he has lived for it. For decades he has been a taxi driver; when he has accumulated enough he has left for some faraway country for months and returned with his master pieces.

His dark room has always been the kitchen in his 2-room flat at Amager, Copenhagen. He mounted the magnifier on the back of the kitchen door and the pictures were developed in the sink. That’s Viggo Rivad, the genuine man and the professional in one. His passion for human beings, often the marginalised ones, have always shown through his pictures.

I believe that Viggo Rivad has done more for Danish photography than most of the younger generations are aware of. Were it not for his humility and the fact that no one has taken it upon them to help promote him, I am not in doubt that he would be well-known and honoured internationally.

A series of picture of Viggo that I have taken in his home

It feels good to know that Rivad has donated almost all his lifelong production to the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen and to the National Museum of Photographic Art in Odense – the town associated with another great Dane, H. C. Andersen.

Jan Oberg
May 18, 2009