Jos Reniers

'Jongensdroom I' and 'II' ('Boyhood Dream I & II), 1999


Location: MetaForum

While in nursery school Jos Reniers (1948) craves for that wooden car (see photograph). However, he is never allowed to touch the toy, otherwise risking a painful hit over the head from Benedicta, his strict sister. Except for once in the annual school photograph, where we see him stand proud, astonished and delighted as his hands clasp the gem with care and tenderness.

The incident, which makes him burst into tears many times during childhood, keeps haunting him. However: as a visual artist he returns to the theme extensively for one more time. In 1999 Reniers decides to build his own cars, which he names 'Jongensdroom I and II' ('Boyhood Dream I and II'). He shapes the chassis in marble, and adds slicks from real formula 1 cars. He derives the zigzag shape from the warming of tires at the beginning of a race. Reniers' son Gerard creates a sound composition intertwining recordings of races with the sound of children. The sound of an accelerating formula 1 car is followed by the laughter of a child. Like this the adult has his symbolic 'revenge' after all.  

Earlier in his career Jos Reniers makes the bronze memorial plaque for Professor Schouten, the first manager of IPO (the Institute of Perception Research), followed in 2003 by the TU/e Medal and the Holst Medal. As Reniers' workshop is getting too packed, he inquires whether the TU/e Art Commission would be interested in having both works on loan. The Commission approves enthusiastically, and both racing cars leave the workshop for the first time. Like all his sculpture the racing cars have rudimentary shapes. As Reniers always says, "Sculptors are no adorners", and that applies here as well: "Strength is in simplicity."

See also: Professor Schouten Memorial Plaque

See also: Medals