Artwork Data


De Vriend


Atelier van Lieshout





Artwork Location


Cicerostrook 1, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.0601569, 4.3956195 View on map

To be found on route

Art in the Vinex

Artwork Description


He looks endearing from a distance, the figure that Atelier van Lieshout placed on a circular lawn in the schoolyard of the Montessori primary school in Leidschenveen in 2007. Two fat little legs firmly on the ground, hardly any indication of a face except for a couple of protrusions where the ears used to be and a head bent slightly downwards. You immediately feel like giving the big blue statue a big hug. The children at the school regularly do that. This 'Friend' is the perfect place for a game of hide-and-seek.

Joep van Lieshout gained fame in the mid-1980s with sculptures that explored the boundaries between art and design. For instance, he produced furniture sculptures in rough polyester shapes with pronounced colours such as poisonous green or bright orange. This has become his international trademark. His later designs often revolve around life, or rather survival. To this end, he designs all kinds of things that satisfy our basic needs, such as a roof over our heads or a toilet. To be able to carry out all his free work and his commissions, Van Lieshout set up a company in 1995: Atelier van Lieshout, AVL for short.

With 'The Friend', Van Lieshout delivers a work of art that fits in with his oeuvre in every way. It is both a sculpture and an object of use. It is again made of polyester with a strong colour. An extra feature is that 'The Friend' has a screen as a face on which lights used to blink. In this way, schoolchildren could turn to him for positive energy.