For the last 20 years, unassuming Dutch photographer Hans Eijkelboom has traversed the world, picking a spot, be it in Shanghai, New York, or Paris, and meticulously photographed what he saw. “I take between 1 and 80 photographs a day, almost every day, 12 months a year,” he says, referring to his “Photo Notes” project, which has now been turned into a book titled People of the Twenty-First Century. The “Photographic Journal,” published by PHAIDON, is the largest, most comprehensive work of his to date, and includes thousands of photos that, together, create a fascinating picture of mankind.
The “anti-sartorial” photographs of everyday people capture specific visual themes – people in red jackets, men with bare chests on roller blades – that are grouped together with the date, city and time range they were taken. And this combination and repetition is what makes the photographs so powerful. Viewed separately, they would hardly even catch our eye.
“I don’t use this diary to show what happens in my life but as a method of visualizing the development of my world view,” writes the artist. Much like the way stalagmites form in caves over hundreds of years, Eijkelboom’s landscape is the result of a methodical fixation to the banality of everyday life. Hans Eijkelboom’s “People of the Twenty-First Century” is available for around $26.