ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Galerie Ron Mandos is proud to present two solo exhibitions Mr. Knight’s World Band Receiver by Jasper de Beijer and Underneath the sky, where we rule as lords by Rik Smits. In Jasper de Beijer’s first solo exhibition at Galerie Ron Mandos his entire series of Mr. Knight’s World Band Receiver will be shown. This series consists of ten photographic works and a video projection.
Jasper de Beijer | MR. KNIGHT’S WORLD BAND RECEIVER
Jasper de Beijer (Amsterdam, 1973) is a versatile artist with a distinctive way of working. He graduated from the Amsterdam School of the Arts in 1996 and participated in the graduation program Autonomous Design, given at the Utrecht School of the Arts a year later. De Beijer is an avid painter and developed scale models which he used as the basis for his manipulated photographic series. Mr. Knight’s World Band Receiver is the twelfth project within the artist’s body of work. His work is included in numerous solo- and group exhibitions, and is part of numerous collections, including those of the Bank of America, Rabobank and Menzis.
The series of Mr. Knight’s World Band Receiver is based on recent news items about the life of Christopher Knight (1968). Knight decided in 1986 to evade the current society and sought shelter in the deserted woods of Maine (USA). For twenty-seven years he lived in great simplicity and was isolated from other people. He avoided any contact with the outside world, but did take a radio to listen to rock music stations and the news. The fact of this isolation inspired De Beijer for making his latest series. After all, Knight’s imagination was the last three decades virtually untouched by visual news. As a result, his ideas differed from the reality that newspapers and television had spread. When there is room for the personal interpretation of world news events, it can lead to surreal, sometimes almost childlike, images. The new series of De Beijer is the result of research into his own subjective perception of recent events. The artist listened to old radio messages whereby he avoided any visual input. He used his childhood memories to create his own, autonomous reality. The result is a penetrating series of photographic works, which refer to important historical moments in their title. He refers with his work 12-26-2004 for example, to one of the largest natural disasters in recent history: the tsunami that spread in different directions over the Indian Ocean and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. De Beijer’s series can be seen as a unique representation of events in recent world history. The layered images operate independently of each other, but keep in their style and themes clearly linked. It is up to the viewer to link these images to moments: a well-known event, or a personal memory. In addition to this series, a number of works from his previous series from 2013, Wir sind das Gedächtnis, will be on show.
Rik Smits | Underneath the sky, where we rule as lords
Rik Smits (The Hague, 1982) studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. He took part in the Best of Graduates show in 2010 and received the 2012 Epos Drawings Press Award for Young Talent. His work is part of several large (inter)national collections such as AkzoNobel (NL) and Maison Particulière (BE). Underneath the sky, where we rule as lords is based on the relationship between religion and capitalism. The drawings, which are carried out with great precision in different sizes depict architectural landscapes. These are contours of an imaginary city in which the human pursuit of power and status is expressed. The imposing buildings refer to industrial utopias or dystopias that are prevalent in the human mind. Their appearance indicates the capitalist ideology of the human being, which has assumed religious proportions. The buildings are towering above the clouds for example, reaching up to the divine, according to Smits. The Art Deco skyscrapers in his drawings reminiscent of medieval cathedrals, where the decoration refers to the rich symbolism of early Christian art, throwing their shadows over desolate monuments. These monuments represent the lost moral values of humanity. They have been replaced by a perpetual quest for capitalist redemption, arising from the need of the modern man of power, wealth and status. With its newest series Smits seeks to create a parallel with today’s modern society. He approaches capitalism as a selfsufficient religion, as if it were a savior. The city shows the confidence of a utopia, while simultaneously breathing the emptiness of an abandoned ruin. Human peace and prosperity no longer seem to exist. The works are not so much a criticism, but rather an artistic notion of an emerging cultural phenomenon.