Daan Couzijn’s works focus on themes such as authenticity, existentialism and social psychology, which are fundamentally grounded in his background as an actor/performer. Couzijn doesn’t see the artwork as an end point, but as a simple moment in an infinite network of contributions. Refusing any form of “source-hypocrisy” he accepts all ideas as second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources. He uses moving image, 3D software and artificial intelligence techniques as tools of expression, often resulting in physical outcomes. Besides working as a visual artist, he performs live with his music as Cousin.
Daan about the work he created for UNFAIR22: “Recently, I stumbled upon the early Vincent van Gogh painting titled “The Flower Beds in Holland”. It depicts the landscape I grew up in until I was 16 years old. Growing up, I’ve witnessed countless people from all over the world admiring the environment around me. As these fields were mundane to me, I’ve only ever truly started looking at these fields, through the eyes of others, wondering what they were seeing that I could not.
With my series of paintings, I wanted to investigate the craftsmanship of painting as a form of mass production and the over-consumed, touristic landscape as an unexplored environment. In order to do so, I collected thousands of public photographs depicting the existing flower fields of my upbringing, found on the Internet. This collection of photographs formed the database with which I trained artificial intelligence to generate new interpretations of these fields. These interpretations were then translated into oil paintings by a craftsman from Dafen Village, Shenzhen, China, who is specialised in the large-scale (re)production of images. In doing so, I tried to create a body of work that is both authentic as it is a product of mass consumption. And so these paintings explore the notion of authenticity and the way we perceive a homogeneously consumed environment.”