Tag Archive | other artistic expressions

Bob’s Bird Barn

For about a century this building in the center of Maitland, was home to the Carrington Hotel, which closed down in the 1980’s.

Then came a pet store named Bob’s Bird Barn. But the last few decades the building is empty and neglected by the owner. To prevent more deterioration, the Council closed the windows and doors with black boards.

The building was an eyesore for the whole community and ‘someone’ began to think how to give the building a facelift.

The decision was to bring back the birds. The way to do this was to paint birds on new boards and stick them onto the old black boards of the building. Done at night, with a 11 meter high ladder.

Mural

In September the Maitland council did a call out to artists to come up with a idea for a 18 x 9 meter wall. Frank sent them a design based on one of my paintings, photoshopped on the wall. The council chose us to create it.
We asked another artists (Andrew Bennett) to help us and it took us about 2 weeks to finish it. It was all old-fashioned brushwork (no airbrush).

Icons of our collective memory (no signal)

Acrylic on 300 canvases
100 x 75 cm.

Our collective memory contains thousands of faces, names, brands, objects, scandals, disasters and victories. You often only need a small clue to understand what is meant. Two musical notes heard … and you can sing along to the song. Just some initials could be enough for certain celebs or brands. A low resolute image of a security camera can direct you to the criminal. Or to the hero.
No detailed image is needed to recognise the tv test card. Although you probably need to be born before 1980

 

Icons of our collective memory (Walter White)

As an immigrant I got intrigued by the phenomenon ‘collective memory’.
A while after moving from the Netherlands to New Zealand
I realised that a large piece of my personality was built on the history I shared with people I had grown up with. For example; jokes. Most jokes are based on shared knowledge between you and your audience, without you even thinking to check this beforehand. Usually, only the most subtle visual or verbal clue is needed to understand what is meant. Of course; that is the power of jokes. Explaining them is destroying them, right?
Simply think of the favourite TV series you may have seen in your younger years. For example; Imitating a specific voice or phrase from a character might be a way of connecting with a friend who used to watch the show too. We can do this sort
of things without thinking too hard about it.
Although in a new country this kind of cultural reference points had become useless, at least the wider and international part is still applicable.

Long story short:
Our collective memory contains thousands of faces, names, brands, objects, scandals, disasters and victories. Like I said above; you often only need a small clue to understand what is meant. Two musical notes heard … and you can sing along to the song. Just some initials could be enough for certain celebs or brands. A low resolute image of a security camera can direct you to the criminal. Or to the hero.
No detailed image is needed to recognise Breaking Bad’s Heisenberg.

Acrylic on 667 canvases

  
   

 

Sculptures outdoors

These are 2 sculptures I made for a collector in New Zealand. They are variations of my familiar treescapes and are made from spin formed steel components, welded together and then grinded and surface finished.
The red sculpture sits on a Corten steel plinth and measures about 70x70x80cm, the plint is about 1m high. For ease of installation, the individual tree shapes are attached to the base with a screw from the bottom. It’s really heavy!
The beige sculpture sits on a hidden metal footing which is covered with gravel. The finish is a multi-layered automotive paint with a metallic matte finish, it measures 75x75x130cm.


TooHoT made it to stores worldwide

24 August 2008

The TooHoT is about to hit the shelves!
My award winning entry for the PAL design contest will be appearing in stores around the globe soon. Whoohoo!
Two years ago I won the second price in a contest to design a fun looking case for the PAL radio. Because I found the body of the radio was good looking already, I decided to design a kind of stand only. It became this melted looking bottom and I called it TooHot.
Here you can find the how it’s made (sorry for the Dutch captions).

The organisation was delighted. Recently they ask me permission to reproduce them and today I got the results in 5 colors. Don’t they look awesome? Next year the PAL design contest has a Finnish edition endorsed by their national design organization. They chose MY design as example image. Isn’t that cool? And hot?!

 The Finnish edition  toohot china04 Sounds Cool Looks Hot They've sent me THREE examples!

Agaricia in bronze

 

4 October 2007

This bronze/glass/wood sculpture is based on the painting Agaricia Bullio, which was inspired by the surface texture of one of the Caribbean Lettuce Corals, Agaricia. These corals form thin plates as delicate as bone china and are extremely vulnerable to environmental changes.

The trunk started life in white clay. Just like coral it has both plant and animal characteristics.

Next silicon bronze castings were made using the lost wax method.

The base is made of swamp Kauri, a New Zealand native tree. This wood is milled from trees that fell
thousands of years ago and have been buried and preserved underground in swamps. I have oiled the wood about 20 times to give it a deep luster.

The bronze part is an edition of 3. Because of the glass en wooden part they are never the same.


Exquisite corpse: One dollar

14 July 2007

This is the second part of my excorps project with Peter van Oostzanen.
In the creation of this drawing we followed the same procedure as the first one, only this time the roles have been reversed. I started with the left halve, masked off most of it and next Peter finished the other halve.

This is the part I created ...

This is the part I created …

And this was the only part visible for Peter ...

And this was the only part visible for Peter …

This is what Peter added to the small visible part ...

This is what Peter added to the small visible part …

And this is how the totally result looks! Exquisite corpse: One dollar

And this is how the totally result looks!

Exquisite corpse: Morning before the bbq

25 April 2007

An excorps is 1 drawing created by 2 artists, in this case Peter van Oostzanen and me.
Peter first drew half a paper (on the right side) and covered most of it before sending it to me.
Working from the small visible part of his drawing, it was up to me to fill the other half.
After completion, the best part of course is the revelation of the hidden section.

I had never done it before, but I think especially for surrealists it almost never turn out wrong. On the narrow strip that was visible for me I saw an almost complete bird and a tail. The bird looked as if he just was beaten. Or had a hangover.

Exquisite corpse

This was the visible part I got …

Exquisite corpse

… and this was what I added.

Exquisite corpse

This was the hidden section …..

Exquisite corpse

And here the full scene 🙂

Art cars

The Opel Kadett (1975) was the very first car I owned in my life. I didn’t call myself an artist yet (it was 1990), I was just working in an accountancy office and still living in the Netherlands, in Alkmaar.

Somewhere in that period I visited the Maritime Museum ‘Prins Hendrik’ in Rotterdam. They showed a special theme about the camouflage of ships during World War I.
On the way back from the exhibition the idea came up to paint my old (green) car in the same way as the ships.
I tried to make it look unbalanced if you look on the back side of the car, by painting a kind of oblique shape around the license plate, the rear lights and the back window. The wheel openings turned out especially well; they looked like they were cut out in a square form.
It took me 2 weeks in total (after work and in the weekends) and probably 200 meter mask tape to paint the car white and then add the black paint.


Still untouched ... Between the shrubs you see me working on the hood The first one ... art car ... and after all, the most effective one. After a few years of fun, I had to let her go ... dying in front of the junk yard, grabbing attention till the last moment ...

In advance I never had thought about people’s reactions, but sometimes their comments were quite amazing.
Most people were just positively surprised. In fact … often I even got unlawfully right of way, so people got a few more seconds to observe this weird thing. I am an introvert person, but safe in my cookie tin I was excited about the funny reaction and thumbs up.
On the other hand, obviously the car sometimes raised some negative feelings to some people. Because I was living in the inner center of the city, I always needed to park my car in the second ring. One day in my favourite parking street, a furious woman came out of her house yelling out that I never may park that nasty, dirty car in her field of vision any more. She screamed that it was a shame! She was under the impression that the black parts where the sooty reminders of a fire.
Another thing I noticed were the empty parking spots beside my car. Even on a busy day the free spaces beside my car stayed empty the longest. Maybe people were afraid that some lunatic would jump out the car and do the same thing with their cars …. 🙂

Book 'Stripes' by Linda O’KeefeHere is an illustrated article about the camouflaged ships. In 2005 my Dazzle car was featured in an article about art, culture and camouflage at the Tate museum.

Once in a while I get requests of people to use the images of especially this car, for different projects. The last one was for a book about stripes. And use as material for an exhibition about WW1 ships at ANMM Australian National Maritime Museum.

After a few years of fun, I had to let her go … dying in front of the junk yard, grabbing attention till the last moment.
All in all … having this car was a quite amazing period. Looking back, now I can say; those stripes were the first steps of my change of profession from book-keeper to artist.

After the black & white Opel I didn’t want to drive in a plain car any more. It was too funny to get right of way most of the time, so I made a blue ‘zig-zag’ one.

After the black&white Opel I didn't want to drive in a plain car any more. It was too funny to get right of way most of the time.

Then our boxy little Fiat Panda was just the right car for an intricate tartan pattern. It took some careful planning and a couple of days of concentrated painting but in the end all my efforts payed off….. the car looked like a shopping bag on wheels! In 1992 we travelled to Hungary. The car was small enough to park under an abandoned trailer.

Our boxy little Fiat Panda was just the right car for an intricate tartan pattern. It took some careful planning and a couple of days of concentrated painting but in the end all my efforts payed off..... the car looked like a shopping bag on wheels! In 1992 we travelled to Hungary. The car was small enough to park under an abandoned trailer.

This visually distractive pattern is based on the use of opposite colors. Fortunately the Citroen was red to start with so that made painting a bit easier. It still was a lot of work creating the sharp edges needed to maximize the effect. It was hurting the eyes.

This visually distractive pattern is based on the use of opposite colors. Fortunately the Citroen was red to start with so that made painting a bit easier. It still was a lot of work creating the sharp edges needed to maximize the effect. It was hurting the eyes.

And this … this was no joke anymore. My pride and joy till today.

And this ... this was no joke anymore. My pride and joy till today.