Thomas Kuijpers
Visual artist Thomas Kuijpers turns the space of Foam 3h into a diorama devoted to the Twin Towers. As a modern-day Don Quixote, using an absurd collection of kitsch images and objects, the artist recreates the iconic imagery of New York’s skyline pre-9/11.

At first sight, it seems a naïve attempt to reconstruct this romantic image from before the dramatic that is so strongly engrained in our collective memory that it is nearly impossible to imagine otherwise.

It all started with the purchase of a painting by an unknown artist depicting the iconic image of the Twin Towers. The description only said ‘painted before 2001’. When Thomas Kuijpers looked at it for the first time, the replaying image of the collapsing towers was put on hold for a moment, and replaced by a glimpse of how the World Trade Center was must have been experienced before the disaster. Fascinated by this thought, he decided to buy the painting. This ultimately became the starting point for Kuijpers to amass a wide collection of pre-9/11 memorabelia, including tourist photos, puzzles, socks, wallpaper and even a bathing suit.

Researching events by collecting material around a topic of interest is usually the starting point of Thomas Kuijpers’ artistic practice. Browsing the media landscape, he investigates how image and text are used to create a narrative about true events. With a major interest in the way the representation of an event is constructed, the works mostly originate from recent happenings, questioning the value of the image and its contemporary uses.

By pointing out inconsistencies in the story and its imagery, or making harsh visual comments on the way the story is delivered, Kuijpers shares an alternative on stories and images we’ve all already seen countless times.

Thomas Kuijpers studied photography at the AKV St.Joost, Breda, and is represented by LhGWR, The Hague (NL). Earlier this year he had his first solo show Paradigm #01 at B.A.D., Brussels (BE). The past few years his work appeared in several group exhibitions and has been acquired for the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Foam 3h is a project space where young artists and photographers are invited by Foam’s curators to present their first solo museum exhibition. They are challenged to experiment, surprise and push the limits of photography.

This exhibition has been made possible by Van Bijlevelt Stichting.

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, City of Amsterdam, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Delta Lloyd, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

explore connections

Thomas Kuijpers