Both Michel Vanderheijden van Tinteren (1965) and Roel Moonen (1966) graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts in Maastricht in plastic design. That is also where they met. The duo, who live in Landgraaf (L.), have worked together since 2000 by the name of Atelier Les Deux Garçons.
Les Deux Garçons’ field of activity is quite wide. Always striving for perfection in the choice of material and finishing, they make collages, paintings, bronze statues, free-style assemblages and, very prominent, sculptures of taxidermy (stuffed animals). These are absurdistic, sometimes moving sculptures with materials they find at the taxidermist but for instance also at auctions and antique dealers. Not exactly avoiding the theatrical, they frequently present their deer, lambs, piglets and other animals as Siamese twins or multiples and with attributes like toy guns, banknotes and perfume bottles which to them are symbols of fear, fate and transcience.
Humour certainly plays a role, sometimes even morbid humour. Nevertheless, their work also incites to reflection. To Les Deux Garçons themselves it stands for the earlier made choices in life which have to be dragged along and which sometimes could be a hindrance for the future too. This explains the choice of a title like ‘L’adieu impossible’ (‘The impossible farewell’), which was also the name of their first exhibition at Jaski Art Gallery in 2008. ‘La Fragilité’, the second show, in 2009, explains the same, just like the third one, ‘L’Éphémère tangible’ in 2011.
Les Deux Garçons are becoming well-known in this country and abroad. Their works have also been shown at the famous design fair ‘Salone del Mobile’ in Milan, the Haags Gemeente Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Ludwig Forum Aachen, at the exhibition ‘Contour and Continuity’ at three Delft museums and at the exhibition ‘Bloedmooi’ at the Schielandshuis in Rotterdam, together with names like Jan Fabre, Jean Paul Gaultier and Maison Givenchy.
The ceramic museum Prinsessenhof in Leeuwarden also purchased works made by Les Deux Garçons. Choreographer Naninne Linning invited them to design the costumes and sculptures for her well received show ‘Requiem’. Their works are collected by Phillipe Niarchos (the famous Niarchos Collections include already 22 works made by them). From December 2012 until May 2013, they are the focus of a retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum Zwolle.