Just like the protagonist of an unusual dream. Teun Hocks’ photography is an ironic smile to absurdity of life

Can the moon be stolen or some musical notes be captured through the use of a butterfly net? Can you measure the sky with a tailor’s tape?

Definitely. If your name is Teun Hocks.


Teun Hocks, Untitled, digital work – Courtesy of Teun Hocks


From the 1970s this popular Dutch artist (Leiden, 1947) has been working on the setting of his own photographs building authentic mises en scène which have the grandeur of silent movies and the expressive intensity of performance art.

According to Hocks the artistic representation arises from a deep synergy of drawing, scenography, performance, photography and painting. Exactly in this order.


Teun Hocks, Untitled, digital work – Courtesy of Teun Hocks


First of all, the artist starts to sketch his imaginary scene with watercolour or pencil. A precise creation of the setting comes after and is conceived in every single detail. At this point, it’s the moment for the artist to take his place in the scene and pose according to the selected plot. Hocks therefore takes a series of self‐ time photos in black and white with his own Polaroid camera from which he chooses only one. The selected photograph is printed on a large scale, stuck to an aluminium surface and painted in oil colours which recall the Flemish masters in terms of dull shades and brush strokes.

In the various scenes Hocks is always the leading character. His half‐serious, surreal, sometimes enchanted, presence allows to build “instantaneous stories” which address to the public with old‐style gentleness and sarcasm. Mainly untitled, Hocks’ artworks depict human contradictions, the impossibility of coping with small everyday dramas and randomness of failures.


Teun Hocks, Untitled, analogue work – Courtesy of Teun Hocks


There is no judgement or solution. Simply an emphasized compassion for human frailty which acquires a poetic dimension in the gloomy background.

A condition that makes the artist deeply close and seems to smile along with us.