‘The traffic cone is a great friend of mine, everywhere in the Amsterdam landscape it prickles my senses and loosens all sorts of things in me.’
Safe Me (2020)
Since he came to Amsterdam in 2001, Bas Kosters has had an intrinsic need to relate to stuff on the street. In the past, he frequently took to the streets with a shopping cart in order to search for treasures, things or materials that he could use in his work. He attempts to get close to the core of objects by portraying them in different ways. In Refresh Amsterdam, he seeks to uncover the romantic and sensitive soul of a lifeless object, in this case, the traffic cone. To Kosters, the cone has an irresistible appeal: ‘I come across it everywhere in the world, but in Amsterdam it’s my ally and my fellow citizen.’ He investigates the ways in which this object affects him and the feelings it evokes, how it is attractive and at the same time alarming because it should protect against possible danger. Kosters creates a mixedmedia installation with textiles, film, costumes and photography in which the traffic cone takes centre stage. He wants to get us to look at this generic object with fresh eyes—and thus also in a new way at Amsterdam and its residents.
Bas Kosters (Zutphen, Netherlands, 1977) has been living and working in Amsterdam for the past nineteen years. He is a fashion designer and visual artist who is especially fond of textile and graphic design, but his work extends to installation, performance art and engaged protests. Across disciplines, Kosters approaches difficult emotions, such as loneliness, in a compassionate and animated manner. His cartoon characters and colourful prints in juxtaposition with humorous text and erotic images create a world of his own that can help rethink life around us.