Friday, December 27, 2013

Henk Pander

A Facebook friend of mine recently ran up a sort of challenge where she assigned her commentors each a particular living artist to research. I got this guy; Henk Pander.

His stuff is a strange and arresting mashup of organic and mechanical imagery with an emphasis on wreckage. His human and demihuman figures seem to float - or struggle - through a landscape of broken machinery and shattered buildings.

What intrigues me, other than the purely visual enjoyment, is that Pander's bio puts him in Holland during WW2; he was between 7 and 8 when the German army was chased out of the Netherlands. Clearly some of his work is directly influenced by his childhood, but I wonder; how much of the rest, those visions of life amid the ruins, can also be traced back to his young life under Nazi occupation?

Pander is an Oregonian today, and I like to think that he was also influenced by one of our most delightful public memories: the exploding whale.

Boom, baby!


Ael said...

I wonder if Mr. Pander is short. My mother-in-law, was also a child in Nazi occupied Holland. She is quite short, but all of her younger siblings are much taller than her.

Its probably because she literally starved while she was growing up, while her siblings had enough good food.

FDChief said...

Looking at the picture on his CV he looks average, but there's no real object to scale off, so I'm not sure.

And when I was a kid we had a woman who used to take care of us when my parents would go off for extended trips. She was a tiny Dutch woman who would have probably been in her twenties during the Occupation. Tough woman, hard as nails, and you can imagine why...

Ael said...

Ya, a lot of the older Dutch folk that I have met have an inner hardness. However, they *do* have a tender spot for sweets and Canadians.

FDChief said...

Oh, she was a lovely woman, and was terrific for us kiddos to learn from. But there was steel inside her and when it came time she had no problem showing you that.