Best of Graduates: Looking Back, Looking Forward | Puck Verkade
Before we start looking forward to the Best of Graduates 2021, we’d like to shed light on some of our Best of Graduates Alumni. What did participating in the Best of Graduates mean to them? And what are they up to now? Let’s find out!
Featured BOG Alumnus: Puck Verkade
Academy: KABK, The Hague
BOG Year: 2011
Puck Verkade is currently represented by Dürst Britt & Mayhew in The Hague.
- Q: What meant participating in The Best of Graduates for you?
A: It was my very first exhibition after leaving the KABK in 2011 so it has a special place in my heart. I showed my graduation piece Any Day Now, a 3 channel documentary about a religious cult who believe the Apocalypse is near. I lived with them and recorded everything, including my own worries and doubts. Over the past 10 years my work aesthetically changed a lot, from documentary to animated fiction, however as a common thread I still question ‘conspiracy’ thinking, myth-making and the way we give meaning to life as humans.
- Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I recently won the Charlotte Köhler Award from the PBCF which I will dedicate to developing a video series that explores mental health and I want to find a way to show it on a Dutch television network. This has secretly been my dream since I was a kid. Also, I’m preparing my solo show at the Wroclaw Museum of Contemporary Art in Poland where my video installations from 2016 – 2021 will be exhibited. It’ll be wild to see all my work together in one museum, like a haunted house! Lastly, I started a YouTube channel during lockdown called Puck’s Imaginary Planet that raises awareness around mental health (especially focused on the creative industry).
- Q: What is typical about your work?
A: Using playfulness, childlike wonder, dark humor and self-mockery to make what is uncomfortable more tangible to process. Stories about the collective and the individual psyche and the struggle with the structures imposed on us. Absurd characters who confess their struggles about the contradictions of human behavior. Non-linear and fast-paced montages that bring together handmade and digital techniques. My videos are often set in sculptural installations and my ‘storyboard’ drawings allow me to explore the characters during my working process.
- Q: What is your biggest influence? And how can we see that in your work?
A: As long as I can remember I’m puzzled by the human psyche and the power of imagination. I’m influenced by kid’s TV shows, cartoons, comics; worlds that do not follow our common laws of nature, Jungian psychoanalysis, behavioral psychology and neuroscience. A stray devil, a confrontational housefly, a depleted planet, a curious ancestor; my main characters are commonly hybrids that reflect the archetypes to which we voluntarily or involuntarily conform, the various characters we carry inside us and how they always find a way to the surface, especially when we suppress them.