“Well, I have been poking around for a while hoping to make people aware of color and shape, and of non-existing space. In Joint I transformed a little area into something new and unexpected, joking around with color and shape while not knowing where it would lead – just having fun, and working through ways that would perhaps mislead the audience.”
Henriëtte van ’t Hoog
I have been poking around for a while hoping to make people aware of color and shape, and of non-existing space. In Joint I transformed a little area into something new and unexpected, joking around with color and shape while not knowing where it would lead – just having fun, and working through ways that would perhaps mislead the audience.
I always trust myself to find the next step in the direction I am going, but this is also scary, I can tell you. But usually the work I’ve just completed hints to what is going to happen next, even if I’m not totally aware of it.
I like the idea of making something that nobody has seen before. Although I am aware that everything has been done already, it doesn’t matter. I am also aware that I’m working in a tradition, but that doesn’t matter either. Actually I think it’s a strength knowing that I am working in a tradition. There is a chance to break all the unspoken rules. And then you find out that what you have to do is invent new ones, your own rules, otherwise the work doesn’t work. And this is odd, and interesting, and matters.
But back to the little installation Joint: It was situated in the smallest of spaces, called the cupboard, at the exhibition space RC de Ruimte in IJmuiden, near Joint 2006 MDF, paper, acrylic paint, vinyl 165 x 165 x 85 cm Installation in RC de Ruimte, IJmuiden, The NetherlandsAmsterdam. It was easy to pass by the space without noticing that there was anything inside. You had to pop your head through the opening to see the work: peek-a-boo indeed!
In a sense my work is very clear. I like clearness. But the use of heterogeneous colors, which can hardly stand each other, and are on the edge, together with the use of preprinted vinyl makes the work even more mischievous. And of course there is the emotional connotation with those vibrant colors. So I hope when people step inside this small space and see the play with the flat and the three-dimensional, the play with the perspective and the triangular objects and how a painted piece of paper is disturbing their expectation, together with the strength of the color, that their experience will hit the roof.
Of course I know this won’t happen, but it is nice to think of it. The whole piece looked like a Fremdkörper in this particular surrounding. It wasn’t set up that way. I always make a model for an installation. I need to do this otherwise it’s not possible to know how the work will fit into a particular space. The scary Plissé 2006 acrylic paint on MDF Installation in Kunsthuis Syb, Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands 230 x 206 x 36 cm thing is when you realize a work using a model that you think you know how it will work often this turns out not to be the case. In location, in reality, when following the model in very strict terms it turns out that you end up with no more than an enlarged duplicate of the model. The scale brings in specific qualities of its own. So the actual setting, the object in the space, dictates changes and amendments that need to be made for it all to work.
Cubes is made with fluorescent paint. The shining adds something poetical, something not rational, something you don’t know forehand. There is a contrast between the initial formative idea of this mural and all the more intuitive connotations it brings along. The vibrant colors make an appeal, calling ‘Look at me’, and the ‘shining’ gives a sense of vulnerability to the object. I think Cubes was crucial to the development of my work. The last couple of years, before I made Cubes, I had only made site-specific work. I hardly had any work for sale, besides a nice series of abstract watercolors. But they were different, on paper, and had nothing to do with perspective, not yet. When I saw the illusionistic perspective of Cubes, I decided to make those strange shapes in the ‘real’, meaning make them three-dimensional, as with Inner Glow I. The first couple of pieces were executed in MDF, all other Inner Glows, Corner Pieces and Fotons are in zinc. The ones made of MDF were a little bit robust because of the material, but the size fitted to the material. I am very conscious about size and scale of the work. For the next series of work I was looking at the delicacy of the material, the material had to be there as support for the color. And I chose zinc.