When in New York, do not miss the solo exhibition of Folkert de Jong at Marc Straus. It opened yesterday and will be on view until May 19th. The Dutch artist is best known for his theatrical, narrative tableaux that address themes of war, greed and power.
Politics and power structures
For this exhibition, Tumbler, de Jong indirectly critiques on politics, manipulation and power structures. As for De Jong, all negotiations take place in the company of whiskey, we will see handmade sculptures of the whiskey bottle, carafe and ice cubes in his new tableau. This is where the future is decided. Cheers!
De Jong was born in Egmond aan Zee (NL) in 1972. He lives and works in Amsterdam now. De Jong won the Prix de Rome for Sculpture in 2003 and was featured in The Busan Biennale (2016), the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (Scotland, 2012), The 17th Biennale of Sydney (Australia, 2010) and more. He has had numerous gallery solo exhibitions in, among others, New York, Milan and Mexico City.
For the show, two new sculptures are included, The Boxer and The Ventriloquist. One might think of Muhammad Ali and Jackie Kennedy respectively, who were both inextricably part of a larger, complex political game.
In The Boxer, sculpted mostly in the material for which de Jong became known: industrial Styrofoam and polyurethane insulation foams, a warrior stands alone in his fight. More than a boxer, Muhammad Ali was an activist and a major civil rights figure. When he willingly relinquished his title as heavyweight champion of the world, he was largely scorned, only to have his heroism widely embraced over the next decades.
It was the media that framed much of the public’s perception of Jackie Kennedy, as the First Lady and international fashion icon. Through her captivating image, the media had the power to sway cultural ideas and influence change. In his sculpture, The Ventriloquist, de Jong features Jackie holding a ventriloquist’s doll with a face just like her own. Who is in control here?
I, for one, like Folkert de Jong’s work a lot. Modern colorful sculptures with a real meaning, with a message – and a dash of dark humor. The exhibition is not on show for very long, so do stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.
Do you know Folkert de Jong? Who is your fav Dutch artist?