´Wim Izaksstipend´ (together with Houcine Bouchiba and Benjamin Roth), Stedelijk Museum, Dordrecht, NL
´One can often be thwarted by some antidisestablishmentarianism´ (groupshow) Gallery Primo Alonso, London, UK
Phillips de Pury, London, UK
´I Pity Inanimate Objects´, PLANETART, Amsterdam, NL
´Kapellmeister Pulls a Doozy´ (groupshow) SEVEN SEVEN CONTEMPORARY ART, London, UK
20 HOXTON SQUARE, London, UK
2007 ´Decadence,Decay and Demimonde´, the Home House, London, UK
“Triviality” is a keyword for me. The important and the inconsequential are interchangeable. No moral phenomena, not even a moral explanation of phenomena. Once you’ve established this, nihilism is just around the corner, and this is precisely what you observe all around you.
For me, embracing triviality also means wanting to see what you are not supposed to see: a longing that may stem from the fact that the world in which we live does not (always) tally with our desires. Painting then becomes the creation of space for those desires.
In my case, my Calvinist background entails a worldview dominated by Christian morality, of “are you really allowed to think what you like?” The concept of guilt and atonement makes me an easy prey for anyone appealing to my “bad conscience”.
For example, the human nude is trivial. In my opinion, it’s no coincidence that the nude is a recurring theme in the history of art. Tainted by assumptions, for me nudity opens up the violent relationship that we have with the surrounding world.
Therefore, I find that painting involves creating space: for the shadows within us, for the world of desires dogged by fear, for the world of excitement and loathing. However, it lacks the usual media veils that (in my eyes) conceal more than they reveal because they represent “the world” rather than paint it on the basis of who we are. This can be confrontational, but I also know that the purchasers and collectors of my work do not avoid that world.
The “triviality” that I’m aiming for, is something that has generated both wars and inventions. So it’s no wonder that we distrust this power.
Where “triviality” is the keyword, “depiction” is the motive.
A number of years ago, I began to look for a classical, less charged counterpart to human anatomy. As my starting point, I took an extremely dull piece of woodland where I was intending to create an intriguing image through the way in which it was depicted. At that point a colleague commented: “I wouldn’t want to walk through those woods”. I always felt that this remark was significant because, whereas for human anatomy I needed the depiction’s drama to achieve my intended objective, here - by working on a few innocent trees - I was able to reveal something entirely different: the violence of the act of depicting, and the way in which that violence engorges itself on our inner world that has no idea about how to deal with the world outside.
So it’s not about the depiction, it’s about the act of depicting.
This depicting can reveal an original violence, just as music also enables us to experience that. Do not underestimate the potential of the circular movement: the duster, the Stanley knife, a flannel with warm water, the pools of water with a dab of pigment, the contour lines of paint that divide the watery surfaces like dikes and yield new marks at fracture points. In short, all this and more benefits the artist.
To enhance the unpredictable, many years ago I began working with watercolours, where I allowed large puddles of watercolour “to do the work themselves”. This entailed a faith in materials and an alternative idea of talent that rejects the somewhat academic notion of the talented hand in favour of a belief in choices. These choices - no matter how erratic they may seem - appear to be controlled, but more by feeling than by knowledge…
The offset plate was incorporated into the process in the same way. At the end of 2006, I was asked “to create a large painting on aluminium, zinc or tin”. So I went to a scrap yard to look at all kinds of different metals and ended up with the offset plate. While aluminium provides a natural base for my glued strata of painted paper and its reflective layer involves daylight (which intensifies the object’s presence as the logical opposite of film projection), for me it above all entails the constant discovery of new possibilities such as painting in watercolours on the offset plate, a material that actively rejects water…
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Exposities (komt nu voorbij)
Vertegenwoordigd in de volgende bedrijfscollecties:
AON Kunstcollectie, Rotterdam