Koen de Vries
Gevonden gezichten

The sadness this image shows is a sadness that we turn away from all too quickly, it touches us. After my father passed away, I recognized them and saw them in every city. Women who were visible alone, being at home was not an option, but a cup of coffee in the city also frightens them. When your loved one dies, everything seems to change, and your own life perspective has become a thing. If you don’t moan about your loss, then you will do about your own fate.

The first story I was enchanted by as a child was the story of Moses. I was 7 years old and still long for those summer days when I heard about Moses and projected his adventures in our still unpaved schoolyard. Later on, Michelangelo’s impresion of Moses also had a huge impact on me, so I was very happy that Moses was finally emerging from my own fingers.

Rawness of that sculpture for me, enhances the autonomous power of this Iconic figure.

In the series of portraits that don’t like to be seen; the grieving man. Great sorrow is show in the face, including evasive and aimless gaze. The interesting thing is that you get into that mood yourself, which is a normal reaction. It is the functioning of the mirror neurons that play an important role in social contact. With a sculpture you can expect that you can let this reflection pass you by. The fact that those mirror neurons also do their work on an image gives me great pleasure of making it. Comparable to the pleasure of being a good actor who plays beautiful drama. A challenge for the spectator. Experience how strongly you respond, and how the emotion controls you and then try to step over it. See the grief carved on his face. This doesn’t seem fleeting. He is always stamping  the grief out again.

For a long time this sculpture was like a skinless self-portrait to me. It represents an attitude – which I sensed in myself – of approaching the world with mockery as an attitude towards the Momento Mori. It’s a way of having fun what many people do. Are they trying to fight this ‘remember to die’? For me it is more like a counterpart to meaning: nonsens. It opens up meaning and questions it and puts things in perspective.


Mentally exhausted and physically unchallenged, this ‘de man van de Bank’ is sneaking his way through life. Not a pretty sight but still an appealing image, but you might learn to see this. This phenomenon is not only unique to bank employees many run the risk of ending up in such ‘a blind spot’ at some point in their life. Can you possibly find your way out?