Koen de Vries
Gevonden gezichten

My ‘stamp style’ is a brutal way of working. Each stamp must be pressed into the clay with appropriate force, but this also deforms the previous impressions. After which the position must be corrected according to what the theatrical moment calls for. The meaning of the image moves with it and so a beautiful theatre passes me by. Sometimes you skim past images that you would really like to have but ultimately can’t get, like this series. And vice versa, you don’t know what you were looking for and it is already in front of you. As Karel Appel once said: “you just have to ‘watch it finishing”. Yes.

I have saved many newspaper photos of a person who is busy with something in his life. The subject of ‘ecstasy’ has often come up in my life, but not yet like this. Agitation keeps people busy, why actually? Does it belong to the “tools” of reproduction? And does that also make us susceptible to drugs, for example? Releasing yourself to communicate with the gods. Does this give meaning to life? These are some of those subjects that concern me when I go through the clippings in my studio and observe humanity.

Every day we are weighed down by gravity, but sometimes you seem to be able to escape it, like here, in this image. I don’t know how that is, it is a recognition of a carefree moment. You are not in the straitjacket of your own story or a compelling environment. You will surface as  new and can breathe freely again. The road is at your feet. Good to know when gravity comes along again.

Making this image was tough, I couldn’t bring out what I saw in the image. But when I gave up, a new meaning within the image came to present itself as if to say that I should not despair. That’s the way it is with the women in my life… Maybe that’s why it was a necessary process for me when I wanted to make a series of female portraits. 

Various people are of the opinion that a portrait of a woman is always only sweet. There is a lot to be said for this, especially if you look at the history of sculpture. That is precisely why I radically deny that and approach women openly. And see that behind the feeling of failure lies a new meaning.

“Love must be the master plan”.  A lyric  from a song by Prince that is like a basic rule for life to me. I made a imprint mold from an apple (fruit) to experiment with, not consciously looking for the story of the Fall of Adam& Eve. Eventually, this image emerged, a modern Eve perhaps, sinking her teeth into the apple on her one initiative. Or she just bites into a random fruit. To hell with patriarchy.