Beschrijving Chas Gerretsen
[alleen in het Engels beschikbaar]
At the age of 16, Chas Gerretsen, bored to death with school, begged his parents to allow him to leave school. They gave him a choice: go to sea or stay in school. He chose the sea and thus followed the most miserable period of his life - three months of nearly continual seasickness. A few weeks after his eighteen's birthday, Chas waved goodbye to his parents on his way to Sidney, Australia.
He sold carpets door to door, waited on tables, worked as a jackeroo (trainee cowboy), hunted crocodiles in Cape York Peninsula and drove a taxi in Sidney.
In 1963 he immigrated to the U.S. and traveled throughout the U.S., Mexico and Guatemala. 1964 he joined the U.S. Army, but after only four months received a 'General Discharge under Honorable Conditions'. Medical reason: 'Severe history of nomadism - army makes him nervous'.
In 1965 Chas Gerretsen decided to go to South East Asia and traveled from 1965 to 1968 through Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam.
On February 14 1968, during the Communist Tet Offensive, Chas Gerretsen walked into the Republic of South Vietnam. He photographed the Indo-Chinese conflict until 1971. In 1972, Chas went to Bali for six months and wrote a book about his experiences in Vietnam. 'I slept, drank and ate Vietnam. I had to get it out of my system.'
In February 1973 Chas went to Santiago, Chile. Eight months after his arrival, in the early morning of September 11th, armed with 4 cameras and 40 rolls of film he joined his friend and fellow photojournalist Silvain Julienne and some twenty other foreign and local newsmen in the plaza in front of the Moneda Palace. Suddenly the sound of small arms fire broke the tension of waiting. Within seconds Silvain and Chas found themselves alone. That day they recorded history.
A few months later Gamma published the book Chile, 82 photos. Documents Gamma, Special Reporter Objectif (Paris, n.d.) In 1974 Chas Gerretsen won the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for his Chile photographs.
1975 Chas went to Hollywood, within a year of his arrival he was chosen to be the set photographer for Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War film 'Apocalypse Now'. Chas's career had come full circle, 'from Real to Reel.' During his career, Chas worked for or was published in every major magazine throughout the world. In 1989, after having worked on over a hundred films as a 'Special Photographer', his feet started itching again. He left Hollywood and has been traveling the world ever since.