Vulnerability is the universal but also sensitive theme of my work.

During my training in the performing arts my fascination for open, real contact came into being. Moreover, an important condition is to be able to be vulnerable and small. A colour that should be seen on our palette, especially for men. The desire for that, my quest, has become the theme of my work. I portray human beings and create sculptural studies according to attitude. For a longer period I work quite intensively with a number of people. (Mutual) confidence is the result of entering into such a relationship, which enables me to come closer and to apply various ways in which to work. An often occurring way to work is to enact an action such as falling or turning. In this way the outlines of their consciousness will fade and they will exhibit themselves to me in a way that images are originating. 

 Gratia

Ecce homo- Behold the man. Self-reliance, independency, in a way ‘invulnerability’ are important values in our modern day society and that is reflected in the way we appreciate the human body: it

should be healthy, young, fit, strong. Those are the images that we are usually confronted with. But how do we relate to people who aren’t able to come along, for example because they suffer from exclusion, poverty, addiction? Vulnerability has become an almost unbearable phenomenon, the Achilles heel of our achievement-oriented society. That raises the question: what is vulnerability still worth in our society? Does vulnerability mean weakness, or is this exactly where we find our common humanity? Are we really different from the people we consider to be vulnerable? Can the ‘losers’ count on our compassion and acceptance? What are the necessary conditions for living a meaningful life, for all of us? And finally: How can we, together, create a new, joint and connected story?

I create portraits and sculptural studies of body and posture. For this series, I followed men who have come to falter for several reasons and who are considered ‘unprofitable’ by society. By working intensively with the people I portrait for a longer period of time, I get to know them, gain their trust and try to show them in all of their humanity and complexity; their strength, vulnerability, suffering, beauty and grace.

 Without Context 

Because of my part-time work as taxi driver I meet with people from all walks of life. I often witness how Dutch-Moroccan and Dutch-Turkish citizens are treated as troublesome youth. I felt compassion and was intrigued by their role in society. I tried to create a series that shows how these guys are free, if only they aren’t forced into a certain context. No context, no judgement.

 Bedburg-Hau 

The ideal man, who is he? What is our current image of him? What do men themselves want to be? Will traditional relationships ever change? Are we going to interact differently? Is there a new man coming? The ideal man project started as Anja Sijben’s personal search, a quest. In January 2011, the project expanded in a collaboration between international artist and scientists. Three weeks of work, discussions and exchange in a laboratory situation in ArToll, Bedburg-Hau, culminating in a two-day exhibition. In this project I continue my search for vulnerability. Though I think there is no such thing as the ‘ideal’ man, one needs ideals. But those ideals should always be reflected and placed in one’s own context. Otherwise we start creating super ideals, which make the world hard and unreal. The ideal can only exist if its opposite also exists. There is perfection through the existence of imperfection.

  

 Milan Gies (08-04-1977)                                                                                                                       

Education:
Theatre School De Trap Amsterdam (2001-2005)
Photo Academy Amsterdam (2005-2009)
 
Expositions/Publications:
Ede, Kernhem, solo feb/ mrt 2018
Amsterdam, Fotoacademie, solo okt/ nov 2017
Amsterdam, RefreshementRoom, Face Value sept 2017
Photo festival Naarden, series Gratia  2017
Eindhoven, The apartment – solo Gratia  april/ may 2017
VICE, online publication / 10-10-2015 dog studies
VICE Magazine, Festival guide / Publication 2012 “TATTOO”
BLEND, International lifestyle magazine / Publication 07-08- 2011 “NO CONTEXT”
Photo festival Naarden, FAce Forward, Naarden may/ june 2011
Artoll, Bedburg-Hau (Germany, january/ 2011)
group exposition: The Ideal Man
NRC NEXT, The Netherlands No. 1 Daily newspaper  / Publication 19-07-2010 “ARMY OF HOPE”
DIGIFOTO pro No.2, Photography magazine / Interview & publication 2010
Fotogalerie FOTO 21, Bredevoort ( march / 24 may 2010 ) group exhibition
Panama, Amsterdam ( march / april 2010 ) solo
Test-Portal Gallery ( feb / march 2010 ) group exhibition
Frizz Conceptstore in Roosendaal ( feb / may 2010 ) solo
Galerie Sand, Groningen ( october 2009 ) group exhibition
Test-Portal Gallery ( sept /oct 2009 ) solo
 
 Artist in residence:  
The Ideal Man project
Artoll, Bedburg-Hau, Germany  / in 2011