Deji (1988, The Netherlands) is a clandestine artist. Deji is a subversive. Deji is The Public House of Art’s “mystery artist”.
From the streets of Amsterdam to the sets he creates, he captures the most unexpected and comical aspects of our daily life, creating awkward situations in which the characters are misplaced and the public disoriented.
Paparazzi and street artist, benefactor and outlaw, hermit and latin lover. He worked as a professional photographer in fashion, entertainment and big events for major photo agencies in The Netherlands, starting when he was very young. Some say it’s all false.
The gossip goes he has been in a coma for the past twenty years and when he woke up he thought he was a photographer. It is also implied that he spent the first years of his life on a pirate ship in the Gulf of Guinea. Deji, on the other hand, claims he grew up in the fanciest neighborhood of Amsterdam, with a silver spoon in his mouth. No one really knows. Some people go as far as saying he never really existed.
We believe he exists, or at least his amazing artworks do. What we know for sure is that one day we found an email with 4 photographs signed “Deji” in our inbox. At first we were laughing. We thought we would just press delete and one day remember it as a funny anecdote. The photos were weird, sure, but we could not stop looking. Four scenes, four icons from the comic books imagery shown under a new, different light.
With the deforming lens of surrealism and comedy, Deji portrayed Batman and Robin playing the piano, Superman sitting on a toilet, Spiderman ironing his costumes and Superman’s father, Jor-El, on a wheelchair in a nursing home.
The Awesome for Deji is capturing extraordinary people in daily situations, showing their human, most vulnerable and surprising aspects. Remixing Pop Culture in its endless possibilities, Deji produced a series that is fun, adherent to our day and age, and aesthetically elegant.
Can a single picture contain in itself film, comic books, the complexity of contemporary mass culture, and still be a work of art? Find the answer yourself, with Hero’d Out, a series of photographs by mysterious, Amsterdam-based, emerging artist Deji.
Deji lives, long live Deji!