Folkert de Jong creates lifesize figurative sculptures placed in chaotic and emotive scenes. Constructed from polyurethane foam and paint, his works convey an uncanny and dreamlike quality where the perverse collides with the familiar.
Many of de Jong’s sculptural figures have limbs missing or appear to be undergoing a physical and emotional transformation. They are situated in a theatrical environment of symbolic props, made from styrofoam, industrial pallets, legless horses, chandeliers, radiators, junk food detritus and weaponry. Previous installations by de Jong have been influenced by George Grosz, Otto Dix and James Ensor in evoking both humour and violence. Through exploring the more disruptive and disturbing side of the unconscious, de Jong’s sculptural characters appear at times brutal, playful, mutilated, power-crazed or deranged.
De Jong is fascinated by the way in which some people can be consumed by obsession. He immerses himself in imagining the thoughts and motives of existing or fictitious characters: witch hunters, religious maniacs, political fanatics, militarists, mediums and serial killers. He investigates and reconstructs the manner in which these often extreme people influence their environment and attempt to contact or master unseen forces with signs, symbols and rituals.
Folkert de Jong was born in Alkmaar, the Netherlands in 1972. He attended the Academy for Visual Arts, Amsterdam and the Rijksacademy for Visual Arts, Amsterdam and has held residencies in New York, the Netherlands, Norway, France and India. In 2003 de Jong was a finalist for the Prix de Rome for sculpture.