Bildhalle Amsterdam has the pleasure of presenting the first Dutch solo exhibition of Swiss photographer,
Willy Spiller (*1947). Spiller‘s signature mark involves capturing images that re-tell everyday stories, using
techniques of fine art and documentary photography. The series New York, 1977 - 1985 was shot in a period
during which Willy Spiller lived in The Big Apple. He roamed the streets far and wide to capture a glimpse
of the speed, the energy and the absurdity of the late 70s and early 80s in New York City, USA.
Whether he focused his camera on subway rides, dancers at the legendary Studio 54 or hip-hop culture in the
streets of New York, Spiller captured all the many facets of a bygone world in images as varied, as fascinating and
as absurd as that world itself had been.
In the process, Spiller combines his curiosity for his fellow human beings with a profound understanding of the beauty
of the banal and mundane in the world around him. This secures his place in the annals of great Swiss photography.
Like many of the well-known names that came before him, he managed to translate empathy into form through
strength of willpower. Or, as his long-time friend and companion Paul Nizon so aptly put it: „I‘ve often asked myself
what made Willy Spiller‘s photography so forthright, so refreshing and so riveting. I believe it‘s a blend of unabashed
curiosity and roguish complexity combined with a fraternal sense of compassion. This isn‘t something you learn at
school: it‘s more a question of class, of predisposition, and ultimately of character. Behind the swashbuckling, wheeler-
dealing façade there‘s a dreamer, a man hungry for life and beauty. And that is the reason he sides with humanity,
which is just another way of saying that he has an innate love of mankind. That is the way he sees things. And he is
driven by a highly developed artistic energy.“