Nachtwacht van het FCA

De Nachtwacht van het FCA is a gigantic tableaux vivant portraying the entrepreneurs of the Food Center Amsterdam. A contemporary group portrait commissioned by the City of Amsterdam in 2012, that contains many references to the famous painting of Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn: De Nachtwacht (1642).

The Nachtwacht became the most important painting in Dutch history because Rembrandt had thrown all caution into the wind to create an exciting atmosphere. He did this by using a big contrast between light and dark, dull and bright colors and by the wide variety of poses of the people. Everybody is doing something, which results in a theatrical scene. I wanted to picture the entrepreneurs and workers of the Food Center Amsterdam with their products in the same manner as Rembrandt had portraited the members of a shooting company in Amsterdam with their attributes. There is an important difference though: not only the rich people who can afford to pay for a portrait are in the picture, but also the invisible workers that are wrapping our food everyday are presented in the image.

The photo is set at the big monumental market hall from the Food Center Amsterdam. The traders expose their best wares on a monkey rock that we constructed from empty potato boxes. Every element used, comes from the Food Center. There are 28 persons and a dog in the picture, but if you look close you can also spot a dead swan, big tuna fish, hanging dear, 1250 kilo of potatoes, piles of cauliflower, half a pig, stacks of cheese, lots of fruit and even tires and package materials. De Nachtwacht of the FCA gives a sneak peak into the hidden life of the workers and entrepeuners of the Food Center in Amsterdam.


This project is made in collaboration with Wouter Valkenier and realized with the great help of Christel Ooms, Louis Erwin Stippel and photography students of the KW1C.

Commissioned by Gemeente Amsterdam