The seamy side of society is a recurring theme in the artwork of Sjaak Kooij. For his solo exhibition, a trip to New York last autumn shifted the focus of his newest paintings to the harsh reality, or something resembling it, even more. In the recognizable but at the same time dystopian streetscapes, the striking absence is that of people. The stillness of the images emphasizes the traces we leave on our environment, however. When we Enter the Zone we see a paper bag from McDonald’s, laughing gas canisters and garbage lying around, sometimes already overgrown with weeds. Like contemporary Vanitas still lifes, they point out the transience of human life – and in the broader sense, of the Earth.
Standing in the middle of the gallery space is a life-sized statue of a figure with a child on his back. Is the little boy hopefully pointing foreword or is he warning of danger? Although this could equally well be an innocuous scene, an association with refugees immediately comes to mind. Here it is not paint in chemical colours but a vividly realistic use of materials – polyester, polystyrene foam and ceramics in combination with second hand clothing – that seems to herald impending doom.
• More about Sjaak Kooij.
• Saturday, 15.02.20: 17.00 / 19.00: Exhibition opening party.You are most welcome to join us for opening drinks, and to meet Sjaak Kooij during the exhibition opening.
• Friday, 27.03.20: 19.00 / 23.00:
Ultra Violet • Gallery night. Sjaak Kooij will make an Ultra Violet mural. There will be UV light, music, drinks and spoken word, dress in white! Cancelled because of Covid-19 regulations.
Artworks by Sjaak Kooij
10.04 Parool Sjaak Kooij maakt de zelfkant tot nieuwe norm by Edo Dijksterhuis.