Artwork Data




Rob Birza




Geslepen messing en autolak


300 cm

Partial collection


Artwork Location


Mr. P. Droogleever Fortuynweg, Zuiderpark, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.053537, 4.2885243 View on map

Artwork Description


From the moment he caused a furore in the Netherlands in the 1980s, Rob Birza (1962), as it was then called, has quoted art history. For me, modern art begins with the Egyptians,' says Birza. And not only with Picabia, Picasso or one of those other modern classics. He's also always been interested in non-Western cultures. During his many travels, especially to India, he comes across other visual languages that he takes home with him. In his paintings, sculptures and installations he makes combinations of images from art history with the visual language of everyday life (comics, advertising) and with that of non-western cultures. The resulting work of art shows the viewer different perspectives that are all equally valuable. Indirectly, it makes you aware of your own - limited - view.

Birza also drew on different worlds for his pedestal statue 'Tantratrain'. First of all, there are the multi-armed tantra statues from Hinduism and Buddhism to which the first part of the title refers. The 'trine' refers to the puppet puppets Jan Klaasen and Katrijn: super-Dutch in other words. In addition, Birza has incorporated images from art history into this sculpture. For example, the main figure of his pedestal sculpture is reminiscent of Zadkine's 'The destroyed city' (1951) because of his posture and the hole in his body. The sculpture that this Russian/French sculptor made for Rotterdam in memory of the bombing of May 1940. Indirectly, the hole in the body refers to the holes in the statues of the famous English sculptor Henry Moore.

The gold of the brass and the bright colours of the car paint used to paint the puppetry dolls are reminiscent of Tibetan images. The result is a colourful and festive sculpture in which visual language from different cultures have fused into one whole. It goes without saying that your eye glides from one style to another.