About
Ralf holds up a mirror of a world that is anything but beautiful, in which the fairy tale of the fight between David and Goliath is far from over, and neither are the struggles of the working class with regard to big capital

About

Ralf Kokke (1989) was born to a family of dockworkers in Rotterdam Zuid. An almost separate class of people — within a practically closed-off social circuit — trapped between a 40-hour working week and a forced position of humility that leaves little or no room for individual contemplation, reflection or diversity.

The figures in Ralf his paintings are always bent and rugged. You can see how years of hard manual work have manifested physically and psychologically. In this respect, he feels connected to painters such as Co Westerik, Frits Van Den Berghe, Constant Permeke and Max Beckmann. They often depict figures who are stuck in certain structure from which they want to escape but fail to. From the start to the end of their lives, they are not able to escape the yoke of social pressure.

Ralf holds up a mirror of a world that is anything but beautiful, in which the fairy tale of the fight between David and Goliath is far from over, and neither are the struggles of the working class with regard to big capital or those of scientists with regard to climate sceptics or the lgbtq community with regard to traditional faith. The physical and psychological signs of oppression, the cartoon-like figures with their peculiar shapes do not show the proud worker, but rather the disillusioned human being who derives his right to exist solely from the lower class to which he belongs: that of the workhorses.

written by Manuela Klerkx (Art Agent)

Study

2011 - 2014

ROYAL ACADEMY OF FINE ART ANTWERP

Bachelor of Fine Arts, painting

Residencies

2020

VINCENT VAN GOGH-HUIS
Zundert

2019

TORENKAMERTJE
NPO/OPIUM

2018

KAUS AUSTRALIS
Rotterdam

Grants / Prizes / Honorarium

2020

DORDRECHTS MUSEUM/
GEMEENTE DORDRECHT

Grant

2019

PICTURA PRICE: Won
CULTUUR + ONDERNEMEN Mentortraject

2018

MONDRIAAN FUND
Young Talent Grant

DORDRECHTS MUSEUM/
GEMEENTE DORDRECHT

Grant

2017

LAM (LISSER ART MUSEUM)
This Art Fair 2017

KUNSTSCHOUW AWARD:
Won

Curating

Collections

  • 2020

    DORDRECHT MUSEUM
    Collection

  • 2020

    Van Gogh Huis
    Zundert

  • 2019

    Dordrecht Museum
    Collection

Publications

  • 2019, August

    Sasha Bogojev

    Juxtapoz Magazine 

  • 2018, December

    Patty Morgan

    Studiovisit

  • 2018, April

    Anke Roder

    Palet Magazine

  • 2017, December

    Richard Jongeneelen

    Throwing hands at sheep

    DeFusie

  • 2017, March

    Open studio’s Dordrecht

    AD