Frank Ruiter

Frank Ruiter (1978) is a self-taught photographer who mainly works for NRC Handelsblad, de Volkskrant, Het Parool, and occasionally for a number of magazines. They ask Ruiter if there is ample time and space to do a portrait. He mainly uses natural light.

Willeboord Gabriëlse (93) was separated from his younger brother Adriaan (91) in 1944, because he was drafted into the Arbeitseinsatz. ‘That wasn’t easy. Believe me, the Germans got you down.’ At the same time the Allies were preparing Operation Infatuate: the liberation of Walcheren and the rest of Zeeland. Walcheren was eventually liberated, but also destroyed: it was largely flooded, which separated the two brothers for a longer period of time. Ruiter photographed Willeboord in the house where he lived during the war.

It’s poignant, fragile and of a picturesque beauty. Ruiter directs our gaze to subtle details through his typical use of colour and enchanting light. This man’s skin beautifully fades into the background.

©Frank Ruiter, Willeboord Gabriëlse, 2019