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“Facing reality” consists of ten units and a painting on paper.

The units consist of a stand, made of PVC and perspex, and a small airbrushed painting. The painting was made after a photograph.

The ten paintings on the units represent the faces of people. Who they are I do not know. At the time I took photographs in the shopping district of the Hague, without looking in the viewfinder of the camera.

Some of the faces are blurred, either because of motion or lack of focus.

The units are placed in a semi-circle, with the painted side turned towards a painted banner: A sheet of paper (). The painted surface, the face, ‘faces’ the banner.

An eery thing happens.

We have to make up our mind whether the units are just what they are, or whether they are ‘entities’.

It is tempting to suggest they have personality, at least ‘anima’ Maybe Gestalt.

They do something: They face, they are directed towards, reality. And what is this reality? It is a piece of paper on which are splattered the primary colours – the trichromatic colours used to make photographic prints. The painting stares back at them, saying: “I am your reality. You are made up of drops and droplets of paint, nothing more”. Which is cruel, but true. The face disappears, becomes a flat surface, all human resemblance an illusion. So what is facing reality…?

And what is the role of the observer, what reality does he/she see?


The individual objects: PVC base, transparent perspex stand, paintingply, acrylic paint. Each unit is 150 cm  high.

For more information on ‘Facing Reality’, visit its Archive 


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