Bertien Van Manen (*1942) became a photographer almost by chance, taking pictures of her children with an old camera. As her work became more public she was soon drafted into the world of fashion photography. In 1977 she resigned from fashion and on discovering the documentary photography of Robert Frank and Josef Koudelka, Van Manen began to explore the developing relationship between herself and her subjects, keeping a closeness and developing a personal, organic style of photography.
In December 1975 she made a series of black-and-white photographs capturing daily life in metropolitan Hungary. “I will be Wolf” brings together many of these beautiful and never-before-seen images. Her snapshots of commuters, grocers, chemists, café workers, and street vendors contain all the hallmarks of a bygone era, before the grip of globalisation was able to make its mark on the country.
Imbued with an air of ambivalent nostalgia, the book takes its title from a line in the poem Grief by the 20th century Hungarian poet József Attila.
I will be Wolf (2017) by Bertien van Manen published by MACK