Dad’s arm, 2020, print on fleece wallpaper on sandwich foamboard and brick, beam, angle brackets, washers and screws, 194 x 142.3 x 45.4 cm
This piece is built from a photograph which is showing the tattooed upper arm of my father. The tattoo shows two intertwined dolphins reminding of Yin and Yang. My dad got this tattoo together with my mom somewhere in the beginning of the 90’s. They never married. They thought that was an old-fashioned and stupid thing to do. Instead they both got a tattoo. My mom designed it and chose to have it in black and grey. My dad has it in blue and red and is still complaining about the horrible skills of the tattoo artist. My mom’s sketch must have been way nicer. They no longer have a relationship, for almost 20 years now. My dad gained weight after I saw him for a long time on his mother’s birthday. It was a warm day and he took off his shirt. I then asked him if I could make a picture of his tattoo, which was an excuse for capturing his changed body.
This piece was show during the Offspring exhibition which concluded two years of working at De Ateliers. The piece is a sculpture, the body is a shape, it’s as high as De Ateliers’ director, and it is standing thanks to a twisted beam and a brick that I found in and around the building of my studio. It makes the human body monumental and flat but sculptural, and puts the viewer awkwardly close to the body that belongs to my dad.
It shows the tattoo that I am very familiar with and the body that changed, and therefore the distance to my dad increased even more. I make the viewer an observer of that body, which is a paradox to me.