Born in Utrecht in the Netherlands, Bouke de Vries studied at the Eindhoven Design Academy and Central St Martin’s in London. After working with John Galliano, Stephen Jones and Zandra Rhodes, he switched careers and studied ceramics conservation and restoration at West Dean College. In his practice as a private conservator, he was faced daily with issues and contradictions centred around perfection and worth. This became the starting point for his art practice. Using skills honed as a restorer, de Vries’ artworks reclaim broken pots in the aftermath of trauma; the breakage caused accidentally. De Vries has called this ‘the beauty of destruction’. Instead of reconstructing these objects, he deconstructs them. Instead of hiding the evidence of this most dramatic episode in the life of a ceramic object, he emphasises their new status, instilling new virtues, new values and moving their stories forward.
De Vries’ work is represented in numerous, prestigious public and private collections including: Museum Voorlinden, the Netherlands; MONA, Tasmania; National Museum of Norway; Philadelphia Museum; MUDAC, Lausanne; Collection Mizuho Bank, London; Zabludowicz Collection, London; Collection of Elton John, London/Los Angeles; Collection of Taiq Al Jaidah, Qatar; the Edgar J. and Clarissa Bronfman Collection, NYC.
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