GIJS VAN DEN BERG
(Vierlingsbeek, 1983) plays with reality in his work. By placing objects out of context, highlighting or reconstructing situations, he presents a different view of reality. This way he gives everyday things a new narrative.
Besides being a graphic designer, photographer and filmmaker, van den Berg is creative director and partner of KesselsKramer, a communication agency with offices in Amsterdam, London and Los Angeles.
Over the years Van den Berg made work for both big and small clients. Produced local and international campaigns. He made some books, invented products, wrote a short film and directed TV commercials.
An organ donation campaign he worked on is registered as Guiness World Record and was awarded an Effie award for effectivity in 2010. Some of his works are part of the Moti Graphic Design collection and in 2015 his poster campaign for Lotte Yoga School was exhibited at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.
Van den Berg likes to balance on the fine line between commercial and personal work. In 2015 he photographed the last traditional coffeehouses in Amsterdam and developed the pictures in coffee from the actual places. His series TV-Toes was part of the Malmö Fotobienal 2015. In 2016 he published ‘Cutting Edges’ a photo series about pruning & prosperity. And in 2017 his project ‘Souvenirs From The Sun’ got a nomination for the Sony World Photography Award. In 2019 his work was exhibited at Photoville Festival in Brooklyn, New York.
Gijs still hasn’t figured out the meaning of his last name; There are no real mountains in the Netherlands and he is only 168cm tall.
# Selected Exhibitions
De Balie, Amsterdam
Oude Kerk, Amsterdam
Schijt aan de grens
Quartier Putain, Amsterdam
KK Outlet, Londen
Kaunas Photo, Lituania
Eye See Sound
Studio de Keuken, Amsterdam
Quad Museum – Derby, UK
Sony World Photo Awards
Nomination Still Life
Somerset House – London, UK
Festival – Schijt aan de Grens
Kunsthal45 – Den Helder, NL
Souvenirs From The Sun
The Print Space – London, UK
New Amsterdam Coffeehouse
Photoville, New York, USA
Vans Over the wall Group
Vans Boutique, London, UK
# Selected Publications
Parool PS magazine
Verzameling, Het Parool
Verzameling, Het Parool
Dit is Nederland
Teach Me / KK Holiday in Venice
ABN Amro & Culture
BNO x Dutch Design week
Het Nieuwe Instituut/BNO
Who are you?
My name is Gijs van den Berg. I like to make things. Many things. I'm not a specialist in a medium. I just do and learn along the way.
Wait before you start your monologue... HOW do you pronounce your name?
Uhmm... most English speaking people call me Hize, which game me the nickname Heinz. But I've heard many variations over the years.
I think you had a much better website before, it has loads of work on it, what happened?
The server crashed. I did program it myself, but never made a backup. #lifelesson. It was way too serious anyway.
Did you save any of the photos?
OK this is rather personal; I read the average height for males in your country is about 182cm. You are 168cm...
I know it’s weird. It does give me a different perspective, i guess. But even weirder is that my last name means ‘from the mountains’. Technically speaking there are no real mountains in the Netherlands. the highest point is 328 meters above sea level.
What is it that you do?
This is what keeps me up at night. I do many things. And I’m not sure if I do any of those things right. If you like boxes and labels, you could call me a designer, photographer, film maker, musician, writer or creative director. I am all of this and none of this at the same time. Just call me Gijs... or Heinz.
Any weak spots?
I really can't draw. I even did a project about it called: "Five-minute-finger-paintings". I'll share it soon.
So what's new?
U have video's with animals? I like video's with animals.
So anything in the pipeline?
I've been working on some digital projects lately. You know blockchain technology, world domination, html5, all while listening to Japanese J-pop screamo. I'm trying to learn how to code. So I made this website myself. Got some help from Semplice.
Japanese J-pop screamo?
Yes it's pretty underrated in the west, but big in Japan. It's a crossover of dancing the ketchup song dance on the beats of a sonic the hedgehog game with female fronted vocoded vocalist interchanged by some of the girls singing screamo parts. One of my favourite acts is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. But recently I've been listening to Passcode as well.
I also made this thumb.
And this installation.