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.
“Milan Gies was one of the participating artists in the exhibition RAUW, which was on display from January 22th to May 22th 2022 in the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. His series Composition (2022) was an indispensable addition to the theme of our exhibition; a realistic view of the human body. In his approach to the human body, Milan focuses on the physical and mental traces that life leaves behind. The central question is: to what extent can you see traumatic experiences reflected in the way someone looks or moves. For his photo series, he has built up a long-term relationship with homeless men in and around Amsterdam, whom he photographed in his studio. The work shows Milan’s artistic qualities and his respectful and deeply human view of those who dwell in the margins of our society.
Milan’s photographs show painful human experiences without sensationalizing them; it is this understated and person-centered approach that gives Composition such a great expressiveness. The more than 50,000 visitors to the exhibition spent a long time reflecting on the photo series and have repeatedly expressed their emotional experience when seeing the photos. This testifies not only to the quality of his photographic work, but also to Milan’s ability to make people look at our society and our fellow humans in a different way. At a time when ‘success’ and productivity seem to be the highest achievable goals, people who don’t live up to this ideal are often ignored or disapproved of. Milan moves against the current by seeing and acknowledging especially these people in all their humanity. Thanks to Milan, they are not erased from history.”
Curator contemporary art
Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam
STATE OF IDENTITY
Over the years many intellectuals have struggled to understand and define the notion of identity. Is identity rigid or more fluid? Does such a thing as a man or a woman exists, or do these labels just serve the purpose of maintaining social order. What if you happened to be born in the wrong body and you have no choice but to confront your initial gender identity. In the series State of Identity the artist portrays those who are in search of their gender identity and are in the process of physical transition. In quest of answer the artist registers in a respectful manner doubts and uncertainties of these young people who literally and figuratively expose themselves for the first time. In doing so he removes them from their daily lives and photographs them in a monochrome setting. Closer to the source is hardly possible. Just as in his earlier work he establishes a bond through working with them over a long period.
For more images and inquiries please visit The Gallery Club.
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)
Twee werken uit de serie Old Love zijn opgenomen in de kunstcollectie VUMC, december 2020.
Drie werken uit de serie Composition zijn opgenomen in de collectie van Museum Het Rembrandthuis, mei 2022.
Museum Van De Geest , Haarlem, solo, ‘Bernard’, voorjaar 2023.
Museum Purmerend, solo, ‘Old Love’, september 2022.
F3,freiraum für fotografie, Berlijn, groepsexpositie, New Queer Photography , State of Identity, juni 2022
2009 t/m 2022.
Museum het Rembrandthuis, Rauw, groepsexpositie, feb/m 2022, Amsterdam.
Pulchri, Frederik Linck, Doorleefd, groepsexpositie, aug/ sept 2021, Den Haag.
Phest, Festival internazionale di fotografia e arte, State of Identity, Aug/Nov 2021, Monopoli, Italia.
Odessa Photo Days, State of Identity, May, 2021, Ukraine.
Revista Balam n6, magazine, featuring State of Identity 2020, Argentina.
De Morgen (BE), publication ‘Old Love’, April 2020.
Volkskrant, publication ‘Old Love’, March 2020.
Hellerau Portrait Awards, Dresden, February 2020, 3rd price, State of Identity.
Museum of Arts and Crafts Zagreb, October 2019, Group, State of Identity.
Der Greif, issue #12 cover July 2019.
Foto Festival Naarden, May/June 2019.
Rovinj Photo Days, Croatia, finalist, State of Identity May 2019.
Volkskrant, publication, State of Identity March 2019.
Melkweg Expo, Amsterdam, State of Identity, solo March/Apr 2019.
Ede, Kernhem, solo Feb/ March 2018.
Amsterdam, Fotoacademie, solo Oct/ 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.
Galerie Sand, Groningen ( October 2009 ) group exhibition.
Test-Portal Gallery ( Sept /Oct 2009 ) solo.