Ate von Hes is a contemporary artist without a fixed field of work. After working as a shipbuilder, steel construction fitter, welder, blacksmith, neon&sign maker and graphic designer, he found himself at art school.
His light-footed attitude towards his work features heavily in his re-use of existing artworks, media, ideas and all kind’s of other everyday stuff.
This approach is a seemingly easy way to communicate with people, and is in the second instance a way of making people aware to look at things in an other way.
Humor and apparent simplicity is a perfect way for getting a conversation going.
It helps to win over the sometimes biased viewer.
In the background there’s alway a consciousness of the sign of the times and political awareness and involvement with contemporary society.
On Facebook I asked “friends” to help me with my artist statement and say something about my work, here’s a selection: (ps: I didn't pay or threaten these people in any way !)
Monika: The art of Ate Von Hes thrives on irony, paradox and wit.
He plays with the viewers habits and expectations, but demand’s not to be taken too seriously at this complex game.
In his media art he show’s a preoccupation with play and Ate’s work hovers between pop, readymade, surrealism and conceptual art.
Fedor: Ate unobtrusively takes us to the essence of visual art: amazement! The apparent accessibility of his work quickly puts you on the wrong foot, his daring interventions on classical works inspire you to think and look ahead.
Eline: Profound uncomplicated works of art.
\Mark: What are we to think about Ate von Hes? His art can look crude and naive, purposefully poking our eye with questions we may not want to answer.
On the other hand, we can see a childlike innocence, and smell a pretty and pleasing whiff of purity, which makes us want to love him, makes us want to see it the way he sees it.
The works of Ate may seem frivolous or “easy” to the casual observer at first, but it soon becomes clear that there is more than meets the eye.
There are layers and depths beneath the pop culture references, and a concern with the state of the world soon becomes apparent. We feel Ate is a prophet.
Using a language we all can relate to, Ate helps us understand profound truths.
Mr. Hes can be many things: a traveling evangelist, a comedian or a philosopher. He is older than all of us, older than humanity, but he’s also young. He knows everything, and has seen it all, yet he is a explorer, travelling in uncharted territory, showing us a world we do not know. He is all of that, but first and foremost: he is an artist with something to say. Start listening now !
Peter: With his work he invites you to put on a different pair of glasses. He not only wants to create idiosyncratic art, but also to give a twist to your view of the (art) world.
Joris: The best handymanmoviesmaker from the entire Netherlands
Kenny: Could you paint me ?
Peter: The man who knows all about explosions in art.
David: Ate von Hes began life at the beginning, and rapidly grew into a complex multi-celled organism. His initial notoriety, for dressing up like a sea anemone in movie theater lobbies and making bubbling sounds with his mouth, was short-lived. His job, manufacturing flame throwers for pets, became unfulfilling. Around this time, a neighbour who was obsessed with measuring animal paws asked him to fill in for her at the art gallery she was running. He found a mystical communion with the spaces art inhabits, and soon he was making assemblage art out of discarded feelings of self-worth. His work, deeply ephemeral in nature, caught he attention of legendary recluse Yeet Paloma, who became his biggest supporter. The next 14 years were a whirlwind of art openings, factory closings, and quite a lot of time spent fiddling with the lids of glass jars. He currently resides on the top of a very tall building, surrounded by falcons who chirp at him encouragingly.
Debby: Don’t change this sentence Ate; 'dear friends, please help me with my "artist statement". Thats exactly what its all about !