Tim de Vries (1980) was born in a small village in the countryside of the Netherlands. He wanted to escape this environment by immersing himself in wild nightlife adventures. It is safe to say Tim has had his fair share of sex, drugs, and house music. After studying business school in Amsterdam, Tim set off to Ibiza to work in real estate. It was on this free-spirited island where he ﬁnally felt free from the social pressure back home.
Tim’s development as an artist started early with the collection of exclusive design objects. Gradually he moved towards making those objects himself, with epoxy resin as a favorite means of expression. Mastering the material, Tim skillfully combined it with the things he loves most. Like the time he made an art object out of his favorite sunglasses. It is exemplary for the type of artist that Tim is. He transforms consumer products into art objects. It is not surprising that he has been inﬂuenced by artists like Pop Art’s Andy Warhol, Roy Liechtenstein, Arman, and James Rosenquist.
American visual culture
Pop culture is one of the most signiﬁcant sources of inspiration for the artist. Tim is a movie fanatic and an avid reader. He meticulously makes notes of his ideas, which are plenty and found all around the world. American visual culture especially has always appealed to him. As a young boy, Tim wanted to be Indiana Jones, hunting for treasures and exposing secrets. In many ways, these are elements he incorporates in his art today. Dividing his time between Amsterdam and Ibiza, Tim continuously looks for gems in the news, ﬁlm, city life in the Dutch capital, and the laidback island-vibe of Ibiza, to capture them in his art.
Tim’s creative treasure hunting is illustrated by his artworks. Like his project Wasted Tables. They are made of steel frames with thick layers of epoxy resin as the table’s surface. Trapped inside the resin, objects are on display. A Wasted Table is like a still-life, but don’t expect ﬂowers and food there. Tim’s artworks reveal what appears to be fragments from a hidden life, the kind that usually goes on behind closed doors. He exposes secrets with the transparent epoxy resin. By hiding the items in plain sight, the artist questions the secretiveness of it all. He objects to the unwritten rules of society. Tim argues that there is no shame in living your life the way you want to. Who is to say what has to be hidden, and what not?
Together with the creative guidance of Martijn Wanrooij, director of Wanrooij Gallery, the artist has raised his practice to a higher level. The spectacular result is their current project The Case, a perfect evolution for Tim as an artist.
The Case is a unique set of masterly crafted suitcases, with inside objects cast in epoxy resin. In his quest for The Case, Tim ﬁnds inspiration in dfferent places, from movies from the eighties to the latest news. Think of a Jason Bourne-suitcase, a bribe-suitcase, or a hitman-suitcase.
The Case calls to mind feelings of exciting adventures, dark mystery, or hard action. The tension between the items inside The Case and the spectator that beholds them is always present. To the artist, looking at The Case is much more than just showcasing the contents of a suitcase. With his choice of objects, Tim integrates contemporary political and social issues with his art. What lies beneath the surface of The Case is a metaphor for what lies beneath the surface of society. The Case serves as a vehicle to expose how we judge the other, and ultimately ourselves.