Folkert De Jong: The Practice ( 2010 )

Ballet is a sensual dance of raw passion, technique and style – perfectly embodied in Styrofoam, paint and pigmented polyurethane foam.  Folkert de Jong once again explored the darker side of human activities with this contemporary sculpture that tells the story of the ugly truth behind every ballet dancer's daily struggles to become the prima ballerina one has always dreamed.  The promise of fame and the mental expense to get there is something that can bring out the dark side (see ‘Black Swan’)

 

Intriguing?  I don't know if attendees of the recent 2010 Art Basel Miami Beach have come to notice, but this contemporary artwork is a good interpretation of Darren Aronofsky's film, The Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman.  In a brief, this movie is a psychological thriller about a young woman's struggle to be the 'perfect' ballerina as she takes on the role of the Swan Queen.  Looking at de Jong's collection 'The Practice', what you see is a portrayal of poise and grace.  Try to get closer and you'll almost feel that exhaustion of trying to keep that perfect move for the big gala night.

 

Beauty and conflict rolled into one is the best way to describe de Jong's life-size art. In their silence, these graceful shapes molded by the mind and hands of a modern-age artisan, may yet have to hide an allegory for anyone curious enough to discover.   Uncanny is what people used to describe his works.  Perhaps, depending on how you define what is beautiful and what is not, you may feel the same way too.  Almost eerie. 

 

Genius Behind the Obra:

 

Folkert de Jong is a master in creating large-scale sculptures and installations that depict beauty and madness in human experiences.  He often works in the theme that revolve around war, politics and human conflict.  Under the management of OFCA ( Office for Contemporary Art ) in Amsterdam, he is also represented by the James Cohan Gallery and other prestigious galleries worldwide.  He currently lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he studied at the Rijksacademy for Visual Arts and the Academy for Visual Arts.

 

Awards:           RAI Art Fair Prize, Amsterdam - 2004

                        Prix de Rome ( Sculpture ) - 2003

                        Charlotte Köhler Prize - 2002

 

Resources I've read that helped me write this review:

 

http://www.ofca.nl/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folkert_de_Jong

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Art-Basel

http://artbaselmiamibeach-online.com/index.php5?id=1270562&path=Home&Action=showProduct

http://www.jamescohan.com/artists/folkert-de-jong/bio/

http://i1.exhibit-e.com/jamescohan/9da6fb66.pdf