Thinking ape


Thinking ape
2016 Oil on photo on dibond, 120x80 cm
Following the Apeldoorn Coda Museum and Museum MORE Gorssel
In the Coda museum are three exhibitions; The Weather Diaries, which is Scandinavian art, Teun Hocks (1947) with photographic art, and a jewellery exhibition. Artists were photographed in Iceland for The Weather Diaries. You see enormous photographs of homemade clothing fabrics and scenes in the rugged landscape. Women wrapped in rust-colored synthetic hair by Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (1969), better known as ‘Shoplifter’. Evelien and I immediately remember our visits in 2006 to the Museum of Modern Art in Reykjavik. There, Shoplifter had the same synthetic hair made into a large braid on the floor, and a sculpture of wigs, into which you could put your head.
The photographic paintings by Teun Hocks, currently exhibited at Torch Gallery in Amsterdam, are well worth the effort. It looks as though he has painted pictures on photographs. They are imaginative scenes. The artwork in combination with photography has a mysterious, fairytale atmosphere. It is humorous too. Teun himself is always the protagonist in his photographs, located in a row of cardboard boxes the same height as the skyline in the background. The alarm clock is also in a box. Teun sleeps in a birds’ nest, always in the same light blue striped pyjamas. Or Teun stands by a window with masks and party hats in the middle. His glum face beneath the cap is reflected in the window.

The More museum in Gorssel is about Modern Realism. I walk up the frosted glass steps. While I take a photo of the sunny stairwell, a larger than life-size head looks at me searchingly through a doorway from the upper hall. It is a self-portrait of Annemarie Busschers. She actually looks at herself as she examines her own face on every detail. The intense look at a face, a mouth or eye surrounded by wrinkled skin where you see the hairs coming out of the pores, closer than the closest, makes you experience something so realistic as if it were your own skin, both unnatural and extraordinarily intimate. I think I also have to expose myself. Back home I go, with chessboard under the arm, to the floodplains. Time for a photographic painting.
photo 2: Teun Hocks at Coda Museum Apeldoorn
photo3: Evelien hidden in the work of Shoplifter, Reykjavik Harbour museum 2006