Sjaak 2 years old, 5 years old and 7 years old
Sjaak in the backyard of the parental home in Nieuwveen, 1960
Sjaak, second from the right, class B5b van de HBS, February 1963
Sjaak, right, on my hunkers, ready for sport with the "star"class of HTS: Buildingtechnology high school in Amsterdam, September 1963
Sjaak in London; June 1966. In 1966 the choice was made to live the life I live now: I was looking for my real self in London and Scotland. In Scotland I found out that I wanted to become a free man, and not to go into social career urge that I should have had to grow out from building technologist to architect for which I was trained. In the tranquility of nature I meditated and decided to be a free designer. This was mainly done in the exercise of painting and drawing, up to this day!
Picture taken in front of the garage belonging to the parental house in Nieuwveen, after returning from a hitchhiking trip of several weeks throughout Europe, summer 1966
But in the meantime I had to take jobs to earn my living. So I started in September 1966 as an inspiciënt (theatertechnician) for the musical "Heerlijk duurt het langst". In season 1968-1969 I worked for the comedy "En Ik Dan" followed in 1970 by a job as stagemanager with "Spring Uit Het Raam, Schat We Gaan Trouwen" with Luc Lutz en Trudy Labij acting. I also had a small role on stage. In 1971-1973 I worked for productions of Funhouse, and in 1974 for a social-cultural educational theatre group called Sater.
1968: Stagemanager for John de Crane comedy production "En Ik Dan?" (photo with an article in "Avenue")
Sjaak hitchhiking in Zweden, July 1968
Photoportrait by Peter Rauh, 1969
my student card at University of Amsterdam. Sociology was the study, in a try to transcend from the manual work in theatre; it failed unfortunately after two semesters
1971; Sjaak on the dutch isle of Terschelling
Doing the stage lights of two productions of the Funhouse-group in 1971 - 1973 : "Horror" and "REVUE". Above parts of the information in the brochure for REVUE show.
In a camera-shop, 1974. In addition to my interest in painting, drawing and theatre, there was an early passion for photography
In February 1976 "Theaterunie" presented the musical theatre production Kotz; I participated in development as well as carrying out the technical part of the performances.
1976 working for the children street production of "SATER" theatre company. Photo: Gerda van der Veen
1976 promotion picture for children streettheatre group "KIP" van Guy Sonnen. Hij founded the group and started with "Dikkie, Nikkie en het geheim van Meer", the production that was made in his time at SATER. I helped him bring it on stage again.
Photo: 1977. From August 1973 I took part in the artist-group Kitching. Sjaak: Standing, second from the left
Later in the year 1977 I lived 3 months in Madrid, where I worked in the tapas bar in the Café Levkas, owned by good friend in those days.
June 1979, posing proudly in my first painters studio, on Prinseneiland, Amsterdam.
Two pictures made in 1980; left: at the former shipyard ADM-scheepswerf in Amsterdam-Noord, where I painted the signposting for "Festival of Fools". Right: Sjaak at work.
February 1987: as members of the section theatre technics of the Union of the Arts (Kunstenbond) Peter Pieksma and I collected data for the "Jungle Investigation" done by Peter Eversmann, what resulted in a UvA-publication of the Institute for Theaterscience "Theatertechniek in de marge: presentatie van de gegevens van het 'jungle'-onderzoek; a survey of the position of theatre technicians working with the fringe theatre groups in the Netherlands". From left to right: Peter Pieksma, Peter Eversmann (2x), Sjaak van der Leden
October 1989, photo portrait made by my friend Pieter Rauh in our flat in Amsterdam
February 1992: at the delivery of one of my paintings together with Peter Pieksma
March 1993, Three new paintings I'm working on in a cottage in Verlaine in the Belgian Ardennes. Photo: Pieter Rauh
March 1995, Presenting my painting depicting Ruud Gullit, at the time star soccer player, in the Sports Museum in Lelystad to the Director
December 1995, after completion of my Christmas shopwindow
in December 1997, a computer was installed in my studio
February 2000, in my studio at Koningsstraat, Amsterdam
May 2001, next to the panel I completed in 2000: "Na De Brief"
August 2002. On the wall: "Jongen Met Lelie"(Boy with lily, 2002)
September 2003; at a family visit in Nieuwkoop. I like to photograph every now and then with my analogue Leica camera.
August 2004, from 1999 till 2012 I worked as a receptionist parttime at FNV-Kiem, the labour union for artists. By this function I had the opportunity to keep in touch with society and with colleague artists.
June 2005, painting a mandala in my studio
More and more I make photo reports of events in my neighborhood. Here, on the 6th of April 2006 at the occasion of the opening of the renewed Nieuwmarkt square. The municipal ruler Els Iping performs the opening act.
Left: 2007, at home during a gathering with the debating group "Wintergasten". On the background: Peter Rauh.
Photo right: 2008, on a five week trip to the monuments of North India.
working on my "India"-schilderij in my studio in Amsterdam.
photo made in June 2012 after opening of the street-window exhibition in de Sint Antoniesbreestraat, Amsterdam about jazz-musicians in the Cotton Club (a renowned jazz café nearby). I managed and executed this exhibition.
18th of March 2013; during a 7-week trip visiting Laos, Cambodja and Thailand you see me in the jungle of Kao Yai, a big national nature reserve park in central Thailand
With a friend during a visit of "Naarden Fotofestival", June 2013
In front of the entrance of Gallery Connie Bos at Zwanenburgwal, Amsterdam Fernando Madera Alvarado works on a drawing (in the centre of the photo). During his exhibition "Reflections", that took place as part of Gay Pride Festival the first days of August 2013, we got to know each other.
January 2014. in front of my shopwindow in Koningsstraat, Amsterdam. We just hung in recent work of Fernando Madera Alvarado. The friendship between us marked a change in our professional and personal lifes.
In August 2014 I visited Mexico, to see Fernando where he lives and to get to know more of the country.
I was mainly in Mexico City but also spent some days in the province of Zacatecas.
In October 2014 I spent a week with friends in a house in Normandy. I took a last swim in the Atlantic, fantastic!
Enjoying the quiet and visiting cultural and historic highlights, like the remains of the Atlantik Wall
In 2015 I continued to realise exhibitions in the display windows in Sint Antoniesbreestraat commissioned by the Foundation for Art and Culture in Citycentre Amsterdam: 6 in total in that year, of which one with only my own work. On the right Paolo Wirz in the Antoniesbreestraat looking at one of his photo's, March 2015
In the autumn of 2015 I spent 5 weeks in Mexico and visited many a museum and antiquity with my Mexican friend Fernando, here the piramids of Teotihuacan
In 2016 I am working on new paintings in order to have enough new work for a new sjaakled painting exhibition in the autumn. On the right: detail of a painting I am working on, partly a mandala
I continue to make photo reports on events, like this one: book presentation with music and lecture in Paradiso, March 14th 2016