TEUN HOCKS

Amazing photos!! Some of these are like bad dreams, like the large cat shadow on the wall. It appears that he combines images and carefully resizes the subjects for the most dramatic effect. I could not find a connection to Holland, other than the landscape and colors. He has an everyman feel to his work.

 

Teun Hocks

      Performer, photographer, and painter, Teun Hocks plays the role of “an innocent Everyman in an always strange and often funny world,” as Janet Koplos recently noted. In scenes that range from burlesque to tragicomic, his lonely Buster Keaton–like persona perseveres through odd and unforgiving environments, struggling to find stable ground in an unstable, often absurd universe. Life’s complications and challenges take the form of impossible Rube Goldbergian contraptions fraught with psychological implications. Each engaging image captures one moment of an implied narrative, triggering inevitable questions about how the protagonist ever got himself into such a fix and what in the world will happen next. Teun Hocks starts by sketching various one-man stories, then poses himself in a carefully plotted setup against his own painted backdrop. After hotographing the scene, he paints in oil on top of the resulting oversize gelatin silver print. The wit, elaborate technique, and rich colors of his images combine to form an irrepressibly original oeuvre. In addition to his painted photographs, the book includes drawings, Polaroids, and studio shots, which illuminate his creative process. Though Teun Hocks is widely known and shown around the world, this will be the first English-language volume devoted to the artist.         Of course he comes partly from me, but these are not self-portraits at all, and I’m glad about that because I hope that I’m smarter than he is. But I’m not even sure that he’s always the same person. Sometimes he’s more afraid, and sometimes he’s more self-assured. Sometimes he’s too sure of himself, such as when he thinks he can shoot stars down. That’s one of my favorites.         But if it’s that man on the ice floe, well, that’s not very good! Or consider the man with his head in the picture frame. He has a curiosity that’s not normal. He can’t control it. But I wanted to take the idea of looking at art literally, so that you really want to get in—and to feel it.         There’s a big backdrop that I paint or build, or whatever’s needed, and I stand in the middle of that. Then I take a picture of myself in black and white and enlarge it. I do it myself in the darkroom with a little bit of help. Then I tone the picture sepia. And later I add oil paint. I color everything, but it’s transparent, so that you can see the picture underneath.        Maybe it’s a way to have everything under control, for me to be able to get exactly what’s in my head. Or at least to come close.        I have a timer on the camera and a remote shutter release which I throw to one side after I’ve pressed it. Then I have to wait a few seconds and the camera clicks. That’s normally how I work, but sometimes I am so caught up in middle of everything that I need help in releasing the shutter. Sometimes that might be a friend who happens to pass by, or my wife, or my son. Anybody can do it.        It’s true that I want to do everything myself because it’s my work. I’m never really satisfied when I let somebody else do something.        Sometimes I have an idea immediately, but most of the time I have half-ideas. So I make sketches. Sometimes I’ll look in my sketchbooks and find a drawing that I’d almost forgotten about. So I change something, and then I find I’ve started to make a work. I make a choice that I want to make a drawing into a work if I find I’m intrigued myself. But I need to draw. I have to draw to think.http://www.teunhocks.nl/

 

 

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