The Husband of the Doll (1991) Thom Puckey

Jannes Linders
About the artwork

Like a flying celestial, this cheerful naked clown with his hat stood up until May 2018 on the Coolsingel. The statue was made by the British artist Thom Puckey, who has been working as a sculptor and teacher in the Netherlands since 1978. Although figurative, Puckey's work is not easy to fathom due to his enigmatic nature. Here appears the title The Husband of the Doll (The husband of the doll) to refer to a fairy tale or a children's story. The husband looks a bit like a cartoon character, but Puckey also refers to sculpture. Compare it with the dancer from Degas, the Eros at Piccadilly Circus in London and the Mercury from Giambologna. By linking the slender hovering posture to a clown, he makes a cross picture. The naturalistic body changes into the striking caricatural head, which has a melancholy appearance. In the meantime, the old professional knowledge is needed to keep the image in balance. Craftsmanship, humor, art-historical tradition and alienation go hand in hand here. Due to lengthy work on the Coolsingel The Husband of the Doll temporarily placed in the garden of CultuurWerkplaats Tarwewijk. For more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam.

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About the artist

Thomas William Puckey (London, 23 May 1948) received his art education at the Slade School of Fine Art and then his master's education at the Royal College of Art, both in London. Puckey settled in 1978 in Amsterdam, where he has been working ever since. He was from 1984 to 1987 lecturer in spatial design at Academie Minerva in Groningen, from 1985 to 1989 lecturer in mixed media at the Academy for Art and Industry (AKI) in Enschede, from 1987 to 1995 lecturer in sculpture at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam and finally from 1997 teacher of autonomous art at the Academy of Art and Design St. Joost in 's-Hertogenbosch. Puckey mainly works for the public space. His artworks can be found in many Dutch cities.

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