A Photography and Sculpture Exhibition by Netherlands artists Hans Withoos and Hans Van Bentem

On Saturday, June 16, 2012, art629 Gallery, located at 629 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ, will host an opening party featuring the photographic work of Hans Withoos, and the sculpture of Hans Van Bentem.

The exhibit, titled “Hans & Hans: Dutch Invasion”, will be a Showcase of the two artists who hail from The Netherlands. This will be their first show in New Jersey, and only their second show ever in the United States. The exhibit opens on Saturday June 16, both Mr. Withoos and Mr. Van Bentem will be attending the Artist’s Reception, from 7 – 10 PM (open to the public). The show will run through June 24.


‘Monumental’ is the word that most accurately describes Hans van Bentem ’s thinking and work. However, capturing him with one word does him a disservice – ‘creative’, ‘inquisitive’, energetic’, but above all, ‘innovative’ come to mind when the observer is confronted with his creations.

A preference for the monumental came early in Van Bentem ’s career. Initially he started out as a painter of grand murals. During his education, his work gradually became more spatial and three dimensional, but it was only after he started working with ceramics that Van Bentem made a discovery. Creating sculpture was like painting in three dimensions, developing spatial form where color and clay became one. A sculptor was born.

Van Bentem is a multifaceted artist. Although best known for his colorful ceramic sculptures, he also finds time to work with other media, including glass, crystal and porcelain. He does not fear challenges. His endeavors take him all over the world, from the Czech Republic for his glass work and chandeliers, to China for his porcelain series. The common thread in his work is the ‘bigger than life’ proportions. No matter whether pieces are commissioned or autonomous work; they will always be bold and impressive. With his latest passion–bronze sculpture–Van Bentem continues to play with his boundaries – in literal and figurative terms.


Hans Withoos’ photography is set in the world of abundance and artifice–the smell of decadence wafts towards the viewer. It is a world simultaneously familiar and different. In Withoos’ exaggerated scenes, the figures crowding the images become archetypes, and the viewer is overcome by a sense of alienation. The work is full of layered, staged images with idiosyncratic esthetics. Sometimes the photographs evoke emotions related to suffering, sensuality and hidden oppressiveness; at other times the images depict the complete opposite and are deliberately emotionless.

Models are portrayed as Greek mythological heroes, movie stars or plastic dolls. All are photographed in edgy environments. The demonstrated anxiety in ‘The Beauty of Suffering’ is the element that brings the theme to life.

The artist describes his oeuvre: “The images don’t show a critical perspective, but rather an observant one. The location itself determines the position of the model, as well as my emotional state. All of this is reinforced through styling and embellishment.”

‘It takes a lot of preparation before the ultimate image is shot. The choice of the model, clothing and make-up must measure up to the image I have in mind. Later, in the studio I edit the images on the computer. Like a classical painter I build layer upon layer to complete the image to perfection.”

For further information about this show call Patrick Schiavino at art629 Gallery (732) 988-5111.

For more information about Hans Von Benthem, you can visit his website at www.hansvanbentem.com or www.nl-equals-us.com.

For further information on Hans Withoos, you can visit his website at www.hanswithoos.com.