Performer, photographer, and painter Teun Hocks is “an innocent Everyman in an always strange and often funny world,” as Janet Koplos recently noted. In scenes burlesque to tragicomic, his lonely Buster Keaton-like persona struggles to find stable ground in an unstable universe.
Hocks’ oeuvre has been, and still is, characterized by craftmanship, a keen sense of narrative and a hint of comedy. Hocks is both the actor in, and the creator of the tragi-comic worlds he depicts on his large-scale hand-painted photographs. In the stages he creates for himself he takes on the role of a middle-aged man encountering almost surreal tasks and surroundings. He is not the archetypal hero who fearlesly faces an improbable task. He is a regular man who is willing to accept resignation with a bitter smile on his face.
Hocks purposely choses timeless forms to enhabit his worlds, seeing them as clear and universal in their value. This timelessness is reflected in the way these works are brought into being. After the process off creating a background with paint and props he takes his place in the newly created decor and captures the scene in a black and white photograph. This photograph is blown up to billboard size and given color by hand. The result is both theatrical and visually clear. A photograph often depicts just an instant of time, Hock’s works lose this feeling of immediacy through their unique proces of creation.