Folkert de Jong

Upstream Gallery

Folkert de Jong makes anti-monuments out of Styrofoam—transitory tableaux for a culture in which the permanence and eternal values symbolized by bronze or marble are all too obviously lies. Not that de Jong is averse to using apparently anachronistic elements: His sculptures and installations clearly engage in a dialogue with traditional figurative sculpture. Yet in this dialogue everything is transformed, in part precisely by the use of fragile and vernacular materials, in part by his iconography. De Jong’s tableaux are grotesque and gothic, steeped in horror, comics, and fantasy.

In 2003 de Jong made an installation for the Prix de Rome contest that depicted a group of disparate characters gathering around a fire, surrounded by crumbling low walls, a tree stump, and a garbage can. Most of the elements were made of blue Styrofoam, supplemented by other polystyrene materials. While usually

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