By Yasmijn Jarram

The macabre, carnival-like images and groups of images by Folkert de Jong are instantly recognisable. This is mainly because of his unique use of material: a combination of styrofoam and polyurethane foam, normally used for insulation purposes in décor building, the construction industry and architecture. Another striking feature is the extravagant use of colour which is in stark contrast to the bizarre and at times gruesome scenes.

De Jong’s tableaus are full of characters that appeal to the imagination, such as harlequins, ballet dancers and admirals often staring with fixed gazes on their face. They are sometimes positioned in decors, or presented with props such as axes and guns. Even though power, violence and disasters clearly play a key role in his works of art, the ‘visual artist’ is also a recurring theme.