Suspended worlds of colour
Joris Kuipers (1977) is a Dutch artist living in Rotterdam. He is a visual artist, art teacher at the Sint Joost Art Academy in Breda (NL) and author of wall reliefs and installations that so well known that Vodafone and Facebook A.I.R. program, both with offices in Amsterdam, asked him to make wall reliefs for the entrance halls. Joris, is inspired by Suzan Drummen, Karla Black, Björk, Ajahn Brahm, Frank Stella, Arcade Fire, Anohni, and Bernini. “The energy of making, the dynamics of the composition and bold colour contrasts take a central place in my art practice. I hope that the spectator will take this up.”
The curious thing is that Kuipers was trained as a painter: having graduated as a bachelor at Arnhem Academy, in 2003 he completed a master’s study at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen but he no longer is a disciple of traditional painting. The one thing that connects him with traditional painting is colour, often applied in bright hues and rich abundance. He uses the painter’s brush only to splatter the paint, right onto the surface, if he doesn’t employ other instruments to manipulate it, for instance by dripping pure alcohol directly into wet paint, as we can see in his last work Suspended relief 004. This work was shown at Object 2018; a design and art fair during the Art Rotterdam Week in the Netherlands, last February. It is a larger version of the work already shown at the Room Studios Gallery in Rome in December 2017 during Martelive Festival.
With his working methods he rather follows the trail of Jackson Pollock and other expressionists. Kuipers’ worlds of colour are constructed out of myriads of dots and stains of pure pigments, merging into colourful clouds when observed from some distance. Recently, Kuipers has been experimenting with constructions that seem to have completely abandoned the wall, suspended freely in space;and are going more towards abstract themes: crystallization and fanning out, concentration and flow, presence and absence. After Suspended relief 004, Kuipers will start working on a new installation based on his assemblies. Following a thought of the Scottish abstract sculptor, Karla Black, Joris said, “I am not really interested in the content of an artwork, but more into what it can evoke”.
You were born and still, live and work in the Netherlands. How does your country support its artists?
There are a few funds and grants you can apply for. At this moment I combine my art practice with a part-time teaching job at the Sint Joost Art Academy in Breda. Being surrounded by students keeps your mind fresh and updated on latest inventions on new media like VR, video mapping and 3d printing.
Your works consist of room-filling installations, wall reliefs, sculptures and works on paper. You also like the layered structure of two-dimensional elements very much. What is the message of your art?
I like the graphic effect of building up sculptures from 2d shapes esthetically. But it also plays with visibility and absence as one walks around the installation as being fleeting. To quote Karla Black freely: I am not really interested in the content of a work of art, but more into what it can evoke. The energy of making, the dynamics of the composition and bold colour contrasts take a central place in my art practice. I hope that the spectator will take up that energy.
You started as a painter. Would you come back one day to oil painting?
Never say never, but paintings are a bit too flat for me.
What is the direction your art is going in? What are your last influences and what are you working on now?
Recently, the theme my work shifted from the human body and existence to a more abstract domain. Crystallization and fanning out, concentration and flow, presence and absence, are his current thinking and working framework. At this moment I am working on suspended relief 004 for Object 2018 (a design and art fair during Art Rotterdam Week in the Netherlands, 08/11/2018). This will be a larger version of the work I showed at the Room Studios in Rome. After this work, I will start working on a new installation based on my assemblies. The process of making is rougher and more energetic.
You made commissioned work for Vodafone (2011) and Facebook (2016). Could you tell more about what it was?
Both companies moved their offices to Amsterdam. For Vodafone, I participated in the 9 Streets Red project, which celebrated their move. After the presentation, they purchased a part of the presented installation for their office entrance. All the offices of Facebook have bright and colourful murals. The curator of the Facebook A.I.R. program asked me to propose a work based on my 3d collages. After visiting the location I decided to make three 3d collages for the entrance hall and office area.
“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth” – Pablo Picasso said. What is your definition of art?
I can only speak of the definition of my art since the landscape of art is too broad everr since postmodernism: Art should energise.
What names can we find in your “Art Bible”? Who changed your life? Who showed you new solutions or who would like to meet?
Inspiring people for me are Suzan Drummen, Karla Black, Björk, Ajahn Brahm, Frank Stella, Piet Oudolf, Arcade Fire, Anohni, Mariko Mori (abstract sculptures) Bernini, Wolfgang Tillmans (abstract works), Attai Chen, Thomas Rentmeister, the Baroque period, Arts and Craft, Jugendstil, Charles Freger, Matthew Barney. The persons who showed me new solutions were the teachers, gallerists and art critics who spoke their mind in critical and confronting ways. But they made me realise who I really am as an artist and person. So thank you Klaas Kloosterboer, Thom Puckey, Cokkie Snoei and Edo Dijksterhuis.
Written by Joanna Longawa
PHOTO GALLERY: Portraits of Joris Kuipers are took by Frank Hanswijk for De Aanschouw gallery @ Photos of the works: Suspended relief 004 at Object Rotterdam Archieve