A former assistant of Anselm Kiefer, Jarik Jongman (Amsterdam, 1962) uses both his own photographs and anonymous pictures found at flea markets, in books, magazines and on the internet, as a starting point for his work. The artist studied in Arnhem and has exhibited widely, in London, Berlin, New York, Amsterdam and at the 53rd (2009) and 54th (2011) Venice Biennale in collateral events.
In 2010, Jarik Jongman won joint first prize for best artist at the UK National Open Art Competition, juried by Gavin Turk. In 2012, he was shortlisted for the John Moores prize, exhibiting at the Liverpool Biennial. In 2017, the artist won the Luxembourg Art Prize.
In his work over the years, Jarik Jongman has explored ideas concerning transience, ontology, religion and history. Many of his works involve architecture in some form: motel rooms, waiting rooms, dilapidated buildings, usually devoid of human presence, often provoking feelings of nostalgia and contemplation, sometimes adding a hint of the miraculous or supernatural.
"A waiting room is a room where time or life, seem suspended. We are temporarily put in a situation where we cannot act. And we do not have to. It is not expected of us. It offers a moment for contemplation, with responsibility temporarily lifted.
We like to think that we make choices in life, decisions made by our free will. But perhaps our sense of control is an illusion. Ultimately there is the fear, the realisation even, that everything is pointless, that all is in vain. What if waiting is in fact all we are capable of?"