It was the fall of 1999; I was working on an assignment in Munich, Germany for Penthouse Magazine and was scheduled to produce a shoot for Dutch art director, Onno Klein who was working for Penthouse, Holland at the time. Onno and I met in Munich to produce the shoot, and he brought along a beautiful Dutch model from Amsterdam for me to photograph at my hotel.
During the sitting, Onno kept telling me how much he thought I would love the place of his birth and that I would absolutely fall in love with the Red Light District, and the general openness of the culture in The Netherlands, as the attitudes and atmosphere in Holland at the time catered to creative types like myself. He was very convincing, and shortly after returning to the states, I received an email from him to schedule a production in Amsterdam the next time I returned to Europe.
Onno sent me pictures of a variety of Dutch models to select from, and promised to make them available for shoots upon my arrival to perhaps the most creative, liberal, international city in the world.
On my very first trip to Amsterdam, I decided to photograph a friend of the art director and well-known model by the name of Justine Bakker. Knowing that I was new to the city, Justine volunteered to show me around the beautiful quaint city and introduced me to Frans Verlinden, the owner of the famous Winston Hotel and well-known patron of the arts in Holland. Justine realized that if I met Frans, I would have direct access to many artists who worked in and around the city, including Paul Blanca, Micha Klein, Erwin Olaf, Aldert Mantje and others. Frans and I became best friends and he introduced me to his closest friends, two of them happened to be the producer’s of the grand fetish party called WASTELAND.
Frans arranged a meeting for me to meet with Wasteland organizers, Rene Meuessen and Jeroen Oosterhout. They were apparently already familiar with my work and commissioned me to produce a picture for a poster that would symbolize and promote the next Wasteland event. They also invited me to document the event as it occurred twice yearly which resulted in the publication of this monograph a decade later. I was happily introduced to the greatest party on earth.
The book is in memoriam to our dear friend and brother, Frans Verlinden who passed away suddenly and way to soon, in the spring of 2006. It would not have been created if it wasn’t for the assistance and guidance of Frans.Verlinden. We love you Frans, always.