unfinished father


unfinished father.
BY erik kessels

Published by RVB Books.
Purchase here.


“Unfinished Father is a very personal project. Erik Kessels’ father suffered a stroke and can barely speak or move since. Prior to this, he was extremely active. His projects included restoring examples of that Italian icon: the Fiat 500 (or “Topolino”.) Before his stroke, he’d completed four such restorations and was working on a fifth, the half-finished carapace of which was left abandoned at his home.

This car came to represent his unfinished father — this is why it forms the basis of this project, which is an exhibition as well as a book, published by RVB Books. Erik transported his dad’s last Topolino to Italy and presents it alongside intimately detailed images his father made to document its restoration. This work is about a man who — like his vehicle — will never be complete, but remain forever interrupted.

The unfinished Topolino is the reverse of his father’s situation in life: he was a man who didn’t like to leave things undone, who saw them to their end. We can attempt to control our circumstances, but in the final analysis they control us.”

See a preview of Erik Kessel's accompanying exhibitions here:


Unfinished Father Book:
Creative, Art Direction, Edit & Design: Angela Lidderdale