Six questions for
Sander Coers

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Sander Coers.

Artist Sander Coers
Lives in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

How do you describe your own art practice?

My practice is a constant process of self-discovery and acceptance. Through creating photographic work about my closest surroundings – my family and friends – I conduct visual research into issues that are both highly personal and collectively palpable, such as generational trauma or the absence of vulnerable masculinity. I have a fascination with vintage vacation photos and the way they’re used to transmit stories through generations, preserving a romantic window to the past. In my work, I often employ the visual style of these vacation photos to research these issues that I’m going through at that time.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

My work revolves around exploring masculinity through the lens of memory, nostalgia, and romanticized imagery.

What was your first experience with art?

There was an art course in my first year of high school, which I took. It introduced me to different forms of art, film, and theater, but I always had the notion that painting (or drawing) was the only form of art. I cannot draw at all, and the only painting I had ever done was pretty abstract (throwing paint at a canvas), so the idea of becoming an artist was never in my mind.

When I was 18 and moved from my hometown to Rotterdam, I was overwhelmed by the fact that art could come to life in so many different forms and shapes. I would visit different exhibitions, including one by students from the art academy in Rotterdam. I was so in awe of them and what they did. So when I noticed an old camera at my friend’s house, I asked if I could borrow it to build a portfolio to apply for the academy. For the next few months, I found myself going out into the city with that camera every day, finding my voice, and connecting with people through my lens.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Probably strolling around in nature, listening to stories about the past, watching films and taking long showers. It’s where I get most of my ideas from.

What do you need in order to create your work?

Not much to be honest. An analogue camera, film, sunlight and a subject. I also work from archival material a lot. I do most of my work in a little room in my apartment, which has always suited me just fine. I’ve always made do with what’s available, working with my close surroundings. Now that I am experimenting with bigger works, I would like to rent a studio somewhere.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

The work of Felipe Romero Beltran whose work Dialect is now on show at Foam in Amsterdam.

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