Dutch artist Folkert de Jong
is currently exhibiting in his first New York solo exhibition “Les Saltimbanques,” with the James Cohan Gallery
. Since attending the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts
in Amsterdam, the artist has reached international acclaim for his figurative sculptures that often depict historical scenes which are manipulated to reveal both humor and the grotesque simultaneously. Through using the material of industrial Styrofoam and polyurethane foam that artist is able to sculpt large crude works, whose material handling further underscores his investigation of both a historical and contemporary landscape. For his current exhibition, the artist has departed from his previous ‘pseudo monuments’ and has taken a more subdued approach to render his subject of the Harlequin. De Jong’s characters are influenced from Picasso’s Rose Period works, with particular references to Picasso’s “Family of Saltimbanques” (1905). Of his work, the artist has stated, “With my life-size, figurative sculptural installations I want the public to become aware of the mechanism of sublime emotion, and how much we are being manipulated by mass media with this mechanism in order to influence our critical opinion.”
De Jong was born in the Netherlands in 1972. He co-founded Space For Artists in Amsterdam, and in 2003, was a finalist for the Prix de Rome for sculpture. The artist has recently completed the exhibitions “Der Falsche Prophet”, Peres Projects, Berlin, “Gott Mit Uns”, Lever House, New York and “Medusa’s First Move: The Council”, Chisenhale Gallery, London.