VICE is a platform with a clearly defined identity worldwide. However, the people behind the scenes of this brand did not become part of it by just being bland. Enter Raymond van de Mil, a photographer who brought his mark to the magazine. Raymond recently collaborated with ViaHenri for the NO PICTURES expo. But who is the man behind the myth?
It is clear to us that you’re not ‘just’ a photographer, but tell us more about yourself.
Well I’ve been living for quite some time and did so many things until now I don’t know where to start. In short, I’ve taught meditation, played in a few bands as a guitar and bass player, studied philosophy (without being enlisted), and I am webdesigner by day. Nightlife and healthy hedonism has always been my passion. So when I started photography it was only logical to capture people who try to escape — for better or worse — the restrictions of everyday life. I was a fan of the VICE magazine aesthetic so I wrote them an e-mail and started to do weekly shoots for them. At one point I thought they lost their way a bit with photography so I quit and only did jobs for organisations who hired me. But I never forgot about VICE, I wrote them a second e-mail 3 years after I started with a plan to work on the photography section, they agreed that this was needed and now I’m the photo editor one day a week. So yes, besides my own work as a photographer I love visual media, magazine’s, and the whole culture around music and nightlife.
And how did doing photography to escape everyday life aspire you to do an Exhibition? Moreover, what is the No Pictures Expo, and what did you achieve by holding it? Did you experience that it was perceived as you meant it to be? I see an exhibition as some sort of interpunction or interruption in my work as a whole. I would also love to make a book before it’s to late and I’m on to new things. Basically printing the highlights of my starting period as a nightlife photographer had to be done. I always see my work on a 30 inch monitor and most people see it on their mobile phones, so it was also a matter of getting some pictures out there in front of people in a large format so they can take a bit more time to actually see what I see. Also there is a connection between the 10 pictures which people would never see in any other way because they are from totally different series. I myself saw connections I didn’t see before., The 100 censored smaller pictures started as a joke but ended up being very entertaining!
We’re assuming that you won’t disappear like the uncensored photos of the NO PICTURES expo. So what is your vision and what can we expect from you in the future?
Well I just started as a photo editor, just for one day a week, would love to do more of that. And as a photographer I have the notion it all just started. The technique is starting to get body memorized so I can concentrate on getting better timing and more interesting events. But also documentary in a broader sense. You wouldn’t believe me but parts of me are quite shy by nature, so my pace in exploring new territory is slow. And I do not want my work to be conceptual, so I can’t plan too much ahead, just get the best results out of the most interesting events. What else to do… Thing is I’m self taught so I have to have to learn from experience and trying to get the results I love to look at.
Raymond sold one of the 10 pictures of the exhibition during the opening night. The nine remaining pictures are still on display in the ViaHenri Project Space (Henri Polaklaan 13, Amsterdam) till the 25th of August. Opening hours are from wednesday till friday from 11.00 till 17.oo no reservations needed. The pictures are also for sale online right here.