Kahmann Gallery is proud to present the first solo exhibition of Sinke & Van Tongeren in the Netherlands, Unknown Poses, which shall open on March 12th. After making waves with their work abroad, they will finally get their own exhibition in their homeland.
Jaap Sinke (1973) and Ferry van Tongeren (1967), better known as Darwin, Sinke & Van
Tongeren, are famed for their extraordinary taxidermied creations. Sinke studied at Academy for Fine Art in Tilburg, Van Tongeren attended the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam.
Both enjoyed a very succesful career in advertising, before they left to pursue their passion for taxidermy. Sinke & Van Tongeren take the age-old process of preserving exotic animals to exciting new heights. The inspiration for their pieces comes from the masters of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Hondecoeter and Asselijn. Sinke & Van Tongeren collect the unusual animals they mount themselves and all are procured from zoos and official breeders. Sinke & Van Tongeren’s photography is directly connected to the time-consuming process of taxidermy, which requires vast amounts of patience and dedication. Before the animals are mounted, the skins of the mammals, reptiles and birds are delicately washed. When these empty skins are laying suspended in the soapy water, it’s as if they came back to life and are performing an outlandish water ballet. Sinke & Van Tongeren wanted to capture the magical and mesmerising effect of this moment, which resulted in these bold and spectacular photographs.
The first series of photographs that Sinke & Van Tongeren brought out, were met with great acclaim and success, with rousing reviews from the Financial Times, The Telegraph and Wall Street International. Damien Hirst, artist and avid art collector, bought a complete set. These works are now part of the Muderme Collection, for which Hirst recently opened a museum in London.
Driven by this triumph, Sinke & Tongeren decided to explore the concept further and to strive for poses that are ‘unknown’, giving the title to the series. The paradox is that these floating skins achieve compositions that are equal to the beauty of the original creature, but in a sense exist in a parallel plane to them.
The work of Sinke & Van Tongeren has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been included in many private and corporate collections.