— Public Faces by Thom van Rijckevorsel

My good friend from Amsterdam captures these impressive images of weathered advertising posters in various European cities.

Public faces is a collection of photographs which frame faces seen on the weathered and decayed commercial outdoor posters prolific on our city walls. The faces of politicians, popstars, actors, sportsmen and artists; public people trying to seduce the unsuspecting consumer into action. To vote, to buy a cd. To take out a mortgage, to see a play or to attend a party. Behind each of these convincing images stands a team of photographers, stylists, designers and art-directors. Together they work towards getting the best possible result: A complete, well-composed image doing its duty in an urban setting.

 

Until decomposition strikes…

 

With the fading of the colours, the healthy bloom of our star disappears. The paper gets torn. New posters partially cover up the invincible kickboxer and the fresh-faced singer-songwriter. The context becomes unclear. Moisture trickles down behind the paper and turns the star into an ordinary tramp. Shredded eyes look scared instead of proud. The political leader who appeared confident and persuasive has become insecure and trivial. Beautiful women rot away into junkies. Little by little the stars become anonymous shadows, doomed to maintain their grimace until sun, wind, rain, glue, tearing hands and the passing-by of time liberates them from their agony.

 

Thom van Rijckevorsel (Leiden, 1977) is a multi-disciplinary artist who makes paintings, sculpture and photographs.

 

See: publicfaces.nl for more

 

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