I came across these photos by Dutch artist Teun Hocks (b. 1947) which reminded me very much of the work of Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, which I have featured here twice before. Actually, it was on this same day last year that I last featured them– perhaps I am looking for an alternate reality on this date as opposed to trying to relive in some way that morning twelve years ago. The ParkeHarrisons create elaborate but real backdrops against which they photograph their Everyman in allegorical scenes– there is no digital manipulation. It is more like the worlds created in the earliest days of cinema when what was seen had to made real in some way, even the most fantastic scenes.
Teun Hocks works in very much the same vein except that he creates a painted backdrop against which he photographs himself as the sometimes comical but deadpan Everyman. Think Buster Keaton here. He then creates oversize gelatin silver prints on which he paints in oils, treating his original photo as an underpainting. The result is a beautiful image with a painterly feel that is imbued with both humor and pathos. You can’t but help feel some sort of connection with Hooks’ character as he faces a sometimes puzzling reality. Don’t we all?