Viggo Rivad was born on July 3, 1922 and began taking photos in 1943. Among other things, he has been a piccolo, boxer, racing cyclist, industrial worker in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1954 he began working as taxi driver in Copenhagen and continued until 1999 at the age of 77, the last 26 years in the same Opel Rekord.
He got to know many Danes, high and low, during those trips – learned to speak with all kinds of people, an ability that helped him during his trips around the world. He replaced the taxi with a scooter which he used until recently, but at the age of 90 he still rides a bike when he wants to get some fresh air or walk at the beach close to his flat.
This Grand Old Man of his trade, has never lived from his photography; he has lived for it. When he had accumulated enough money in the taxi he left for some faraway country for months and returned with his master pieces.
His dark room has always been the kitchen in his 2-room flat at Amager, Copenhagen. He mounted the magnifier on the back of the kitchen door and the pictures were developed in the sink. That’s Viggo Rivad, the genuine man and the highly professional in one. His passion for human beings, often the marginalised ones, have always shown through his pictures.
Viggo Rivad has donated almost all his lifelong production of some 40 000 original photos to the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen and to the National Museum of Photographic Art in Odense.
Jan Oberg, January 2013