TAS~Hek – Elvis versus God
Author: Martin Bril en Rick Rococco Artist: Henk Tas Publisher: Galerie Torch Amsterdam Year: 1991 Softcover, edition of 1000, stapled in golden envelope Signed by the artist
Henk Tas, Elvis Versus God
For someone who is as relentlessly enthousiastic about music and popular culture as Henk Tas, his artwork almost seems too serene. Tas, an avid collector of bootleg tapes, pop parafenalia and little plastic figurines, creates photographs that truly can be seen as ‘pop’ art. It is inspired by, and made out of the icons of popular culture like Elvis and the stars of Disney. Still, his works may use these legends of americana, what they represent is more inward and not meant for screaming crowds. Often the comparison is made between the intimate feeling of listening to music in your own room and the way Tas photographs his miniatures. It shows the very personal world one creates when lost in music. The feeling when something that was made for everyone seems to be written just for you.
They also show a nostalgia for a (imaginary) happy and sparkling past, a world not unlike old surfer movies and Elvis flicks. Using his extensive knowledge and passion for the Elvis era he recreates a careless feeling in his photographs. His carefully staged scenes instantly reveal their intended emotion, not unlike the the artist himself. In this case it is safe to say that all the colours, jokes and the everpresent combination of childish pleasure and a certain melancholy in the pictures are a direct representation of the artist’s character.