Paul de Reus
The works of Dutch artist Paul de Reus (born in 1963) live from their absurd and grotesque design elements. His figures address the ideal image of the subject’s complete identification with itself as dealt with in the Greek myth of Narcissus. But at the same time, this image is broken by alienated elements. His sculptures often have immense proportions, entire body parts are missing; some of his works consist solely of fragments, while others are captured in unnaturally grotesque situations and positions. The wooden sculptures sometimes seem horribly realistic due to their size on the one hand, on the other through the use of natural seeming materials like hair and fabric as well as due to their color. The banal-seeming saying that laughing and crying are not far apart is characteristic of the work of Paul de Reu in the sense of comedy turning to melancholy, and vice versa. His figures evoke an individuality and tragicomedy all their own that gives a sense of the creator’s intense engagement with himself, his surroundings, his thoughts, and fantasies.