Verwelius, Bert

Bert Verwelius (Huizen, 1953)

Bert Verwelius refers to himself as a “hobbyaholic” – alluding to the numerous private passions that are such an integral part of his life. Early on he focused on setting the course for an exceptional professional career. At seventeen years of age, the young Dutch man, who was born on December 29, 1953 in Huizen near Amsterdam, began working in his father’s construction company. In 1982 he founded his own company (with his brother, who died in 1987). Today the Verwelius Holding in Amsterdam is one of the largest construction firms (housing, factories, and shopping centers, etc) and one of the most successful family businesses in the Netherlands. With all his professional commitments, the self-made entrepreneur, father of three children and nine-time grandfather, never forgot his various private passions: whether deep sea fishing, horse breeding, or show jumping. He has traveled around the world in his yacht. To combat his fear of flying, he bought a jet and earned his pilot’s license. For six years now hes has flown his own Falcon 7X. After he turned forty, he also began to learn foreign languages, today speaking (almost) fluent English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German. What drives him? “Challenges in life and finishing everything I do ‘cum laude'”

He had already started photographing as a fourteen year old; now he owns a large photo studio near Amsterdam. From an early age he liked to photograph women and girls (“out of love for their beauty and strength”) and has lately devoted himself mainly to nude art photography. His modeling agency in Ukraine has been useful in providing him with suitable subjects. Every year he focuses on a particular project, such as the “Bunga Bunga” photo series-a deliberately ironic staging of a decadent party with half-naked young beauties and older men in the style of the ex-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. “I wanted to take the mickey out of myself and out of men my age,” says Verwelius, “these rich old boys with their champagne, Viagra, and girls.” However, he himself completely shies away from parties and prefers to live away from the public gaze.

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