Out of Focus
Normally vacationers come to Kijkduin especially in the summer. To enjoy the sun, sea and beach there. For decades, however, Jan Snoeck' s Holiday Maker on Deltaplein stood there even when the vacations were over. It braved wind, rain and snow until it had to make room for the boulevard's redesign in 2017. When the Deltaplein was undergoing reconstruction, the statue went into storage with the contractor for protection. Since August 2022, work has begun on the construction of a large underground bicycle storage facility under the square. When that is complete, redevelopment of the square itself will begin. The new design will feature two familiar landmarks (the Lighthouse and the Playboat) prominently. At what location Snoeck's colorful vacationer will return in the new design is still unclear. In any case, it is safely in storage waiting for a new place with a sea view.
keramiek en granito
h. 350 cm
Deltaplein, Den Haag
52.069700597152, 4.2217382410933 View on map
Kijkduin has many sun worshippers, but this holidaymaker is almost always there, weather or no weather. Once in a while, however, his skin has to recover from the heat and the salty storms, which is why the sculpture is going through an overhaul. This 'tourist', specially made for the boulevard of Kijkduin, was presented to the council in 1986 as a gift from the Verenigde Bouwbedrijven B. Meijer, who had contributed to the renewal of the bathing resort.
Maker is Jan Snoeck, creator of a large number of sculptures for the public space. They often refer to the location and its users. Best known are the colourful, ceramic figures with a large nose and without limbs, such as the three 'people waiting' at Westeinde Hospital. However, Snoeck, who studied with the cubist sculptor Zadkine among others, is also responsible for abstract works such as the steel 'Flight' and the bronze 'Rasp'.
However, all the early sculptures lack colour, although Snoeck had a strong affinity with it, as evidenced by the gouaches and carpets he made at the time. After experiments with paint on concrete and with polyester, he found the solution in ceramics around the age of forty.
Abstract worm shapes in clay gradually became walking, sitting and lying, genderless creatures. Colour and cement joints - necessary because a sculpture cannot be fired in its entirety - are essential to the form and give the sculptures their sunny character. The white of the pronounced nose is also important. The contrast with his shadow becomes even stronger.
In forty years Snoeck has built up a gigantic oeuvre, varying from autonomous sculptures to carpets, bowls and screen prints in his typical colourful and cheerful style. Even at an advanced age he continued to create new work, alternating between the South of France and his studio in The Hague.