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labourofar t.com

My second presentation life in Dubai.

Hello Art by Nature readers! Whilst preparing edition I’m also working with Cadform, an agency that shares my passion for art. Working with Cadform I want to help artists and galleries promote their brands and products. To meet more aspiring artists, I headed over to the Dutch Design Week with my colleague and both of us had a fantastic time! There were so many inspiring artists it was difficult to choose who would be featured in this edition. Since edition 7, Stephen King, a lecturer in Media and Communications, at Middlesex University Dubai and his students have been helping me edit the articles for Art by Nature magazine. In edition 8 I showed Michaël Calloux’s first illustration book 'Merveilleuse Nature', this edition I had the honor to receive his second book ‘Merveilleuses Couleurs' which is an amazing follow up.

in this edition. It is always a pleasure working with Merel! A new ‘kid’ in town, helping gallery owners reclaim their customers while attracting new ones, is Gallery Viewer. This is an online platform which showcases talented artists and their work from 36 established galleries. I had the great privilege of talking to one of its founders. And finally, I offer an insight on my trip to Pan Amsterdam, an art event where art, antiques and design meet. You can follow the magazine

And share with others. Thank you and enjoy edition 9!

We are also welcoming a new columnist: Merel Slootheer, who I met at the Dutch Design Week last year and has previously showcased her work in edition 8. She is happily returning to share her inspiration from nature

Tessa Valk Founder, Editor-in-chief & Designer

by Noor Ul Sabah

by SK

INITIATIVE OF Tessa Valk COVER COLLAGE tessaontwerpt.nl ADVERTISE To advertise in upcoming issues click here LIKE THE MAGAZINE? Support the magazine artbynaturemag.com CONTACT tessa@artbynaturemag.com SPECIAL THANKS TO Sjoerd van der Stok Cadform • Steven King and his students Monica, Pranav, Shemeen, Raies, Eleanor, Shazia, Maryam, Ornob, Mariam, Almas, Fatima, Noor, Maheshpreet, Ashwariya and Aya of the University of Middlesex Dubai • Katia Plewnia Labour of Art • Merel Slootheer • Genevieve Mariani • Johan de Bruijn Gallery Viewer • Lucie Le Guen • Liesbeth Bulk • Marten van Leeuwen • Daniëlle Spires • Les Deux Garçons • Marjolijn Mandersloot • Sebiha Demir • Every person who is in this magazine has been contacted by email. No content may be used without permision of Art by nature magazine, photos of artist (work) are owned by the artist (all rights reserved). If you find an image that is yours, I couldn't find the owner and you aren't credited; please let me know.







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30 P Column 6  Merel Slootheer Nature’s Way of Nature 10 Genevieve Mariani Getting In touch with nature

6-45 Gallery special 3 38 L  es Deux Garçons Dark magic 40 M  arjolijn Mandersloot Folded nature 42  Sebiha Demir Crushed 4 4 Stefan Gross Art by nature


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13-24 DDW 14  Lucie Le Guen Into the deep 18  Liesbeth Bulk Crush on Nature 22  Marten van Leeuwen & More



New 6  Gallery Viewer Johan de Bruijn

I’m a dreamer, maker, designer, goldsmith, collector, biophile, citydweller living in Haarlem, The Netherlands. I approach the creative process as I would extensive research and trans­late my findings into all sorts of creations. With my work I try to make sense of things I don’t understand and question what might be considered obvious. Here's my column!





WITH MEREL SLOOTHEER I found it on a drizzly day, during a morning walk, a piece of summer lost in autumn. It made me feel full of pity, this proud, bright colored poppy, sprouting in vain from cracks in the pavement. ”You’re a little late dear. Or maybe way too early?” I made a photo of the scenery, a sad depiction of wasted effort. I go through these kind of encounters on a daily basis. Personifying plants, animals, objects and even more abstract concepts is something I do automatically. I once tried to save the life a homeless cactus dressed up in a sombrero, I fall in love with songs constantly, and greet every cat I pass on the street (yes, even the ones I don’t really know).* Luckily I’m not the only person with a passion for personifying, there’s even an official word for it. Wikipedia says: ’Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology.

There’s no conclusive answer coming from science yet, but to me it feels like an extension of empathy. Something beautiful and even useful at times! It can play an important part in trying to understand complex and elusive notions and might motivate people into positive behavioral change… From saving bees by planting certain flowers, to switching to a more animal friendly diet, to not adding to the plastic soup and care for the ocean. When it comes to our planet and feeling (sorry) for it practicing anthropomorphism might not be such a bad idea. v

Anthropomorphism is widely spread through our history and language. From mother nature, to father time, we humans just love to attribute human emotions, traits and intentions to non-human entities. I unconsciously based a lot (if not all) of my work on this notion of personification. But where does this need come from? *Senior Cactus didn’t make it unfortunately.




Johan de Bruijn For this edition I’m meeting Johan, one of the founders of Gallery Viewer. For this venture, Johan works on the technicalities while Fons Hof directs Art Rotterdam, a fair for discovering young artists. They have worked together for some time on this project now. Among other things, Johan also creates video presentations of the artists’ work for the Art Rotterdam fair.

Buying art has changed It all started on a sunny spring day, enjoying lunch at a Amsterdam. The two talked about the lack of accessible content on gallery websites. The gallery websites are tailored to inform art-experts but they miss out on offering accesible content for the mass public. For two years they analysed and investigated the art scene to identify what has changed over the last decade. Fons analysed the scene from his perspective as an art fair director and Johan as the down-to-earth Rotterdammer, with a practical and technical viewpoint. They concluded, to survive as a gallery you have to have more than 8


just a space. The new art lover doesn’t spend a Saturday looking for a new piece. People investigate through the internet, and visit after they find what they are looking for. The average gallery owner knows a lot about art and is socially skilled, but they have no knowledge of digital strategy. It’s all about the first impression, this begins at the gallery’s website. Most of which are a library of art pieces they either once had or currently hold. Johan’s frustration with buying art While producing Projections, the video section of Art Rotterdam, Johan got to know the artists there, and found interest in their work presented at the fair. He asked the owner of a small Italian gallery for some information. He received the

What is Gallery Viewer? • Online platform with 37 participating galleries at the moment. • Only new art, no secondary trade • Free for browsers of the site, subscription fees for galleries • All art within a price range • Search by artist, discipline, price, or gallery. Combinations possible •Reserve artworks online, or book appointments with the gallery in one click Screenshot of the feature following your favorite artist and artworks.

artist's 10-page résumé in small type in his e-mail, filled with references he wasn't familiar with. That's why Gallery Viewer's greatest feature is the artist page, filled with video's, highlights, collections and recommendations. This way, visitors learn more about their favourite artists making them and understand why there's a certain price tag attached to it. Do you have a favorite artist yourself? The Gallery Viewer has a great feature where you can compose a page on an artist you like. On my list are Michael Jacklin for his technical excellence and Melanie Bonaj for her mystical way of thinking, among many others. But this list changes constantly. The extensive collections on the platform show you an

verview of art that you wouldn’t usually see on your own. Because of this, Johan's taste in art has shifted. What is your goal with this platform? To create an accessible place to discover high quality artworks and learn more about the artist's making them. A gallery is more than a store for art, it is a well composed exposition, where artists’ stories are shared. An artist needs a gallery to showcase their work as a whole. The artist is best at creating his/ her work, and the gallery owner can help present their collection in the best way. v

galleryviewer.com by Maheshpreet Narula

by SK




Photo by Dru Bloomfield

My name is Genevieve Gabor Mariani, I am an illustrator, motorcyclist, and animal welfare advocate. I hail from Minnesota where I grew up lonely and wild, relating to animals more than humans. At an early age, I was also inclined to paint, draw and explore the woods around my home. Here's my column!

Humans always live alongside wildlife, even in a city. Here in Los Angeles, that is certainly the case. We are surrounded by the vast wildlands, to which numerous species call home. Mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, and racoons reside here - just to name a few! Most people see racoons in their trash cans, and the skunks scuttling down their streets are a nuisance. However, each species plays an important role in our fragile and threatened ecosystem. This is called trophic cascade, which is a powerful indirect interaction between flora and fauna that affects an entire ecosystem. For example, apex predators (wolves, bears, mountain lions) prey upon deer, the population of deer is kept in check which helps rejuvenate tree health. Trees keep rivers healthy and flowing, thus creating an abundant home for salmon and beavers, who also directly affect the health of the river.

genevievemariani.com Human encroachment has taken a toll on the natural flow of the ecosystem. With ever increasing populations, humans are sprawling out beyond the borders of major cities and 10

suburbs. We use rodenticides, and wild animals eat poisoned rodents, thus their immune systems become compromised. This makes it impossible for them to fight off diseases such as mange (which shouldn't be fatal to a healthy animal). The disease can easily spread - and in Los Angeles we frequently see animals with mange.

Mountain lions have a large territory, one male per 10-370 square miles so the more of their space that we occupy, the harder it is for them to survive. They are the apex predator responsible for the health of the ecosystem of that entire area. We've even seen cougars trapped by freeways here in Los Angeles. v by Ayswarya Rajeevan

by SK







Spreading the news through social media feeds and newsletter subscribers (total 10.000) 12


Interested? Feel free to contact Art director Tessa Valk for the possibilities.



For three years in a row I visited DDW one thing's for shore: I'm allway surprised what new inventions and designs there are. This year's no diffrend!




Ctenophora - light projection through the glass bulb




with Lucie Le Guen One of the artist that first stood out for me at the DDW was Lucie Le Guen. Living in the medium-sized French city, Rennes, nature wasn’t far from Lucie Le Guen’s front door. She draws from her environment, looking for inspiration, designing objects and spaces with an approach that lies between conceptual and product design. Her work connects traditional craft and technology through a process of research and innovation.

Describe your journey on becoming an artist? I have always been strongly influenced by visual arte. I fell in love with painting when I was 11 years old, and that love for art just kept growing. I also learned videography, lighting techniques, sculpture and finally design. In what way did creativity play a role in your childhood? I was a very sensitive and shy child, so creativity was a way to express myself and grow my self-esteem through winning small prizes for my drawing, painting or writing (drawing, painting, writing). It was a way to show my inner-world to others. Being shy, I didn’t talk much, but I could communicate through my work. My work showed me that I was different yet interesting.

Who and what inspires you, and in what way? I am inspired by my everyday objects and happenings in my life, especially by the changing light. I also regularly visit exhibitions, as people inspire me with interesting talks. This helps me come up with new ideas for my work. I follow contemporary creators working with light such as Olafur Eliasson and Giles Millers. I am also a great lover of ‘organic’ designs. for example, I love the work of Hans Wegner. Moreover, I am part of the maker movement and I particularly like the Collective Kobakant that work with both technology and textile. Can you take us through your creative process? All my projects take time. First I write down the specifications, then I figure out 15

what I want as a concept and idea. Then I will check what designs already exist. I keep reading, analysing, drawing, taking dimensions, observing the colours and ensuring that the material match. Then I start drawing some basic shapes, ma足king draft models, rewriting the specifications and the concept. Little by little, I make the project more precise until the it is complete and ready to present. The Ctenophora project process. One day I was talking with a glass足 maker, I realized that somehow the metal could be incorporated into the glass and conduct electricity. I got the idea for the lamp one year later when I was snorkelling in the Caribbean while visiting my sister. While snorkel足 ling we saw a strange creatures like jellyfish, a so-called Ctenophora (bioluminescent submarine creature). Years later, I was invited as an artist in residence at the National School of Glass. This is where I could work on the technical aspect of metal inclusion and the lighting effect inspired by the Ctenophora.

blowpipe with a glass part Photggrapher: Gordon Parks

master mold made of foam

Ctenophora drawing and process

The research lasted three months and began by making technical experiments. After technical validation I started drawing different Ctenophora. With this drawing I figured out how I could structure my lamps. And then we blew the project, with the glass足makers and the students of the school. leguendesignstudio.com by Monica Sharma and Aya Rabie Aly


by SK

There is no wrong place to draw

Olafur Eliasson - Your museum primer


inspirational works and artists

photo of light observation: the diffusion property of fluff

The alchemist desk of Lucie at the National School of Glass







Crush on Nature

Crush on Nature participated in the DDW under the theme: 'Frozen Nature'. I met with Liesbeth Bulk from Crush on Nature about her thoughts on the environment. A natural surrounding is essential for Liesbeth which is why she lives in the overgrown and historic Quarantine complex in the harbour of Rotterdam. She loves experiencing the seasons, up-close and personal and so her home is filled with minimal luxuries, traditionally heated with a massive wood stove and has a fascinating wild garden. Though the studio next door is well-equipped and comfortable, with central heating.

Detail of table top frozen leafs


How did you become an artist? I started out becoming a gardendesigner, but it left me unsatisfied to only use plants as shapes or colours to fill in a scheme. Besides that, you make a plan on paper but hardly ever get to see the result of your design as a full grown garden. During my internship I realised I wanted to be more “hands-on”. After graduating as a gardendesigner I continued at Art School and studied Furniture Design, completing it with a master degree from the postgraduate programme of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. In what way did creativity play a role in your childhood? I loved creating my own world. Growing up on a farm, we had endless space with bushes and barns to create our make-believe lives complete with self-made furniture, clothing and transportation. Who and what inspires you and in what way? I'm inspired by very different artist and works. For instance Bruce Naumans' 'Carousel' (1988). I saw that installation many years ago at the Documenta in Kassel, in a time when things were shifting for me. I was looking for my personal statement, what was my overall concept? This work was a catalyst and helped me create my own story. It made a huge impression, it is raw, unpleasant and confronting. It inspired me in a

sense that I felt the urge to share what is slowly vanishing: wild plants, ordinary weeds, an odd strip of bare land, undefined places inhabited by plants. I love the work of Mark Rothko, for the colour, the depth and composition. David Hockney’s life size paintings of trees are amazing. How he captures the ordinary, especially ‘Bigger Trees near Warter’. He painted this, to some an insignificant bush, several times throughout the seasons. When he returned one spring, he only found logs… his point of view on ordinary trees is very interesting. In the start of my career nature played a minimal role in my work, but over time I recognized that it is essential. Not only for me, but for many people who have been alienated from nature, spending so much time in artificial surroundings like their workplace. I made it my focus to bring nature into the office. People are amazed by the beautiful structures, colours and filigrain I create with local weeds in large panels. Make them realise that the weeds, that grow around their office or along the road on their way to work, are so beautiful and delicate. What is your view on Frozen Nature? Frozen Nature was a joint presentation with Fabrique Ceramique for the DDW. The title “frozen” is more applicable

 rom top left clockwise: New work: abstract natural surface, Flora inundata, Glass wall Erasmus F University Photo Ilse Bakker Fotografie, Inspiration board at the studio of Crush on Nature.


to my older work, in which I capture the plant and 'freeze' it in glass. Resulting in subtle, translucent panels with enclosed leaves and flower petals. In my current work I also use the plant as a whole, free hanging collages of plants between transparent panels, bringing true nature right into the office.


On the DDW I also showed the first steps of my new project: moving away from the plant as a whole, taking a more abstract approach. Working with the colour and the texture of plants in cross-sections,creating an abstract surface material. These designs are about the connotations with nature. At first glance it is not clear what material you look at, it might refer to exclusive stone or bark. Triggering to investigate the natural colours and shapes. This material is very suitable for an elegant meeting table, stylish and at the same time it brings in all the good vibes that come with natural materials. crush-on-nature.nl




& More

Marten’s light pendants, the Archy, really stood out at the DDW. They were cleancut and made of recycled construction waste. It fascinated me how such a heavy looking material could hang so lightly on an electric wire. Growing up in the Cormandel peninsula in New Zealand, Marten had an amazing playground. His parents have a farm five minutes from three beautiful white sand beaches. It is no surprise therefore that Marten and his brother have surfed since they were young. The native bushland is amazing.The undisturbed forest is thousands of years old, and combined with the beautiful coastline adds up to an inspirational place. He now lives in a quiet area with lots of forest surrounding Antwerp, Belgium.

a combination of these two. Even at a young age I saw that society was focussed on economic growth when it was clear we were doing so much damage. I became interested in sustainability projects - there were not that many back then. When I was eleven I designed an electricity generator using water and waves. I built it with lego and it powered a light bulb. That's about the time when I started surfing and I wondered why we don't use wave energy for power generation.

What was your route on becoming an artist I don’t like our society’s culture of consumption, which depletes our resources and destroys the earth. I had a goal to transform waste into something valuable. First I had developed a process that could turn waste plaster into a material with valuable properties. Then I had to design and produce a product that would create a market for this material.

Who and what inspires you and in what way? The people that most inspire me are William Mcdonough and Gunter Pauli. These two are visionaries that think big and have a massive positive impact. Both are architects and what I like is that their intention to any design project is to have a positive impact. They think in systems. Reading ‘Cradle to Cradle’ and ‘The Blue Economy’ both changed my working life.

In what way did creativity play a role in your childhood? I have been interested in creative ways to solve problems since I was young. Technology and sustainability also interested me, and so usually it was

Can you take us through your creative process? I first look for a problem worth solving, then I really find out as much as I can about the problem. Then I work at solving

Archy light pendant



The Cormandel Peninsula in New Zealand

Inspiration: Blue economy by Gunter Pauli

the problem. Having a degree in Mechanical Engineering taught me how to methodically go about solving problems which I think helps me a bit. The Archy light pendant design came from first looking at tons of lighting designs in stores, magazines and pinterest. That gave a me a good idea about which designs I like, myself. Then I drew designs on a 3D program and asked for feedback from friends and family until I had something that I thought was good enough. Where does the name Archy come from? The name comes from the english word “arch�. A cross-section (like on the Archy logo, attached) is an arch and I wanted a fun name to give the pendant some character. Why did you design Archy? The material came first, than I looked for a way to process it. I tried to sell it in panels fo the building industry but they were worried about certification and weren't so keen that it came from a waste material. So then the idea came to design something for the consumer market. This has a higher value with certain buyers, because of the fact it used to be waste. And so the idea of Archy was born.



Work in progress

Could you tell something about your plans for the future? My goal from the start has not been to sell light pendants or other designs, but to add value to materials that are currently being lost. So I am working on a scaled up version of my processing facility that can be placed in different locations so that waste can be collected and processed locally. Then, local designers can create their own products with the material. This distributed way of processing and manufacturing appeals to me, and I think it is the way forward. Then, once that is up and running, I will start working on a next waste material! I have three other ideas I want to start on as soon as possible. v morecircular.com by SK



I started Art by Nature Magazine in 2015 and Danielle was the first person I wrote about. She offered to help me editing the magazine and has worked with me until edition 6. She helped me find columnists for the magazine such as Genevieve Mariani, who still writes in this edition, and Irena Murphy. I've followed Danielle ever since our first collaboration and I was delighted she wanted to tell her inspirational story about her new company ‘Pet Portraits by Danielle Spires’ in Art By Nature.



“I WANTED TO CREATE A SAFE AND COMFORTABLE SPACE FOR OWNERS AND THEIR PETS.” “I model my style something in between American Gothic and Wes Anderson. I feel that I can find that love between owners and their pets through photographs.”

owners bring their pets for a session of fun. Danielle shares that she is “so excited to meet everyone’s pets, every session becomes such a joy”.

Danielle, once an owner of multiple pets, had to say farewell to cat Noguchi and her dog Isabelle within two months of each other, both suffering from sudden cancer. Her third pet, Panton, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer shortly after the death of her other two pets, leaving her $24,000 in debt.

She adds: “I wanted to create a safe and comfortable space for owners and their pets. And I get to hug and scratch the pets all I want!” v For the whole interview, which was shot and edited by Irena Murphy, check the video daniellespires.com/pet-portraits

Danielle consoled herself by setting up a photo studio for pet photography where

by Zeina Gazala

by SK






by SK

The whistling jug French designer Pierre CharriĂŠ has reimagined traditional Peruvian singing vessels with his collection of coloured musical jugs. cavafairedubruit.fr

Recycled High Tech Jewelry One artisan who recycles them into jewelry is Paola Mirai, the creator of Cirkuita collection. Paola meticulously dismantles unwanted gadgets and upcycles them into new "jewels". paolamirai.it

Nebl planter The Nebl Planter from Studio Rem gives you the idea that the plant has been fogged. The design is also inspired by mist-covered landscapes. studiorem.de



Lace Vase A fresh approach: upcycle any water bottle into a vase for your fresh flowers. This one is the Lace Design, also check out the Knitted Design. tessapicks.com

Sound absorbing hemp Besides the fact that these panels absorb sound reflections, they also regulate the humidity and temperature in your interior. These panels from the Russian studio Aotta are made from the husks of hemp that are often thrown away. While they come out so very well. aotta.com 29


Michaël Cailloux Since our last edition where I spoke to Michaël about his book 'Merveilleuses Nature', he has published “Merveilleuses Couleurs” where he challenges the reader to search for a camouflaged animal which he describes in an haïku (a form of Japanese poetry). The book is intended for all ages to play with and expand their minds.

How do you compose your illustrations in 'Merveilleuses couleurs'? The first step is with Nathalie Béreau, were we research all the elements corresponding to each color: blue, yellow, red, green. Although the green color was reason­ably easy to research, because it is a common color present



everywhere in nature, it was much harder to find elements for blue, purple or pink. The second step for me was to draw each element without thinking about the composition, this took several months. Then I created each composition. This is very exciting and is the stage I enjoy most because I imagine myself creating my own universe.

Écailles qui piquent, Sous ma carapace, Je suis jaune exotique. Qui suis-je ?

"T HIS DREAM GAVE ME THE IDEA OF THE BLUE THEME FOR THE BOOK." Do you dream of animals? I like animals a lot and I often dream about them. I do not remember all my dreams but one in particular marked me strongly. This one was about space travel and I was swimming in space with fish as if I was in water. This dream gave me the idea of the blue theme for the book. I wanted to draw a large fish watching the Earth and so I created an analogy between the idea of weightlessness and swimming. Are you going to make another book in this series or will you pick another theme. Yes, it was my wish, along with Nathalie Béreau, to make a proposal of a follow-up to 'Merveilleuse Nature' to our publisher. We shared the idea with him and he agreed. So this is book in the same spirit, but it is not the same work. 'Merveilleuses Couleurs' was harder to make in terms of design because it is more complicated to design a

page with only one colour and many different shades. We do not know yet if Thierry Magnier, our publisher, wishes to make an other 'Merveille' but we would like to go on with this great adventure. How did your illustrations inspire your writing? This is Nathalie’s part in our creation. I send her the finished plates and she plays with the words. She likes this part of the creation process because words reflect the image. We did not want to sound 'childish', so that adults can also play with the book. Therefore there are two levels of reading. The idea of each riddle was to create a 'haïku' for children so words can related to the images, in short sentences, like a poem. There is also the idea of rhythm of the words and rhymes.

Part of the blue page of “Merveilleuses couleurs” : Ecailles qui piquent, Sous ma carapace, Je suis jaune exotique, Qui suis-je? Translated: Scales that sting, Under my shell, I am exotic yellow, Who am I?



From left to right: Nathalie Béreau and Michaël Cailloux with their first book "Merveilleuses Couleurs", Elephant in progress.

"I WOULD LIKE EVERYBODY TO PLAY WITH THIS BOOK, REGARDLESS OF THE AGE." When I read the sentences about an animal that’s in the illustration but not in its natural colour, I had to think harder. My mind is telling me to look for a different colour. Was this the reaction you were looking for to your illustrations? Yes, I wanted to make the game harder. The idea was to play watching at the plate to find details. If the solution is easy, the game would be not so fun! But I'm surprised by the effect. For example, I thought that the solution of the blue plate would be easy and I realised that it’s not.

And, Nathalie enjoyed confusing our readers with the riddles. Is there something you would like to tell our readers? I would like everybody to play with this book, regardless of the age. It is a way for children to discover colours and to play with Nathalie's riddles. And for adults, it is a way to travel and dream. v michaelcailloux.com by Muhammed Arman Hossain

by SK

Part of the pink page of “Merveilleuses couleurs” : Léger dans l’eau. Sur terre plus pataud.Tout en gris, je barris. Qui suis-je? Translated: Light in the water. On earth more clumsy. All in gray, I bar. Who am I?



LÊger dans l’eau, Sur terre plus pataud, Tout en gris, je barris. Qui suis-je ?



Since starting at Cadform, I have had the chance to broaden my perspective on art by attending many exciting events and exhibitions. Most recently, I visited Pan Amsterdam which is a fair for art, antiques and design. T

Out of the 110 galeries, I’ve chosen the ones whose art speaks to me the most. I talked with galery owners of Galerie Ramakers, Zerp Galerie, Rademakers Gallery, Galerie Dom'Arte, Roger Katwijk, Jaski Gallery and Jan van hoof Galerie. I will share a bit about the artists I found interesting and their work in this special. by Elena Andra Stoica

by SK





LES DEUX GARÇONS Both Michel Vanderheijden van Tinteren and Roel Moonen 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. Les Deux Garçons, display their work at the stand of Galerie Wilms and Jaski Gallery. I was blown away by the taxidermy they used to make their artwork. Their incredibly skilled craftsmanship is playful, humorous, makes you think. Their field of activity is vast. Always striving for perfection in the choice of material and finishing, they make collages, paintings, bronze statues, freestyle assemblages and, very prominent, sculptures of taxidermy. These are absurd sometimes as the sculptures are prepared with materials they find at the taxidermist, auctions or antique dealers. Not exactly avoiding the theatrical, they frequently present their deer, lambs, piglets and other animals as conjoined twins or multiples and with attributes like toy guns, banknotes and perfume bottles. These aspects are symbols of fear, fate and transience to them.

Humour certainly plays a role in their art, sometimes even black humour. Nevertheless, their work also incites you to reflect on what you have seen. To Les Deux Garçons themselves, it represents historical choices in life which can act as a hindrance in the future. This explains their title choices for example ‘L’adieu impossible’ (‘The impossible farewell’), which was the name of their first exhibition at Jaski Art Gallery in 2008. ‘La Fragilité’ (The Fragile), their second show in 2009 and their third event, ‘L’Éphémère tangible’ (The Instantly tangible) in 2011. T This was a small introduction about these artists who I admire very much. I hope in the next edition I can talk to them in person, because I have so many questions building up after seeing their work!




De Couverte de la fable fabuleuse




Goldfinger 2018 24 krt gold leaf on bronze, 60 cm high




At the stand of Jan van Hoof Galerie, the amazing sculptures of Marjolijn is mesmerising. Human and animal figures form an important source of inspiration and they serve primarily as a metaphor. These unique sculptures are able to move the audience, through the body postures and materialistic expressions.

Omitting details, inflating proportions or lighting out parts of the sculptures creates a sense of pleasant confusion or often, triggers you to smile. Heavy bronze statues seem to be made from liquid candle wax or soft rubber, and light-footed objects of thick saddle leather. These create an atmosphere of traditional luxury. They also make us question ourselves, are we seeing what we think we are seeing? The experience derived from Marjolijn’s choice of materials is usually so opposed to the 'real' experience, that we are guided to explore the boundaries between imagination and reality. It is precisely this surprising tactility that generations such a powerful attraction. marjolijnmandersloot.nl

El Dorado 2018, 24 krt gold leaf on bronze, 80 cm wide




SEBIHA DEMIR One of the artists at the stand of Rademakers Gallery, Sebiha Demir, creates sculptures of animals out of an uncon­ventional material; .22 calibre bullet casings. Demir’s choice of material is intended to strengthen the meaning she hopes to convey in her work. Demir is inspired by the increasing threat of human behaviour to exotic animals and the ambiguous relation­ ship between humans and the natural world. The playful postures and glowing but almost fuzzy, features of the gorillas, elephants, panthers, and bears, give them a pet-like quality. That only intensifies the contrast between the initial appearance of the sculpture and the seriousness of Demir’s message.

sebiha.nl Elephant, 2016, Bullet shells, 70 x 66 x 50 cm, 27 1/2 x 26 x 19 3/4 inch




STEFAN GROSS Another Rademakers Gallery artist is Stefan Gross. He started his career as an apprentice stained glass manufacturer. In 1988, he became a Master and decided


to complete his studies at the Art Academy HBK Saar in Saarbrücken, Germany.

In 2006 he developed his own material, ‘oil plastic’ which he incorporates within his artwork. It results from dyeing industrial plastic, with classic oil paints. His technique enables Stefan to extend the painted surface in a three-dimensional manner. ‘Oil plastic’ is translucent and can be molded at a relatively low temperature, like glass. "My way of working is quite old school. There is no high technology involved, except the material, the wonder-goo plastic, which I used since my childhood. It's a leftover of a lost world, if it derives from fossil material. Plastic is mostly shaped by machines, millions of identical parts. I shape my work by hand piece by piece. Every piece is different like leaves on a tree. The most advanced machinesare still not able to copy this process. So this is still a human advantage till now and that inspires me." Do you have artist that inspire you? There are a lot of painters and sculptors of course, but there is one architect and print maker: Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who triggerd my work the most. He shows the left­

"M Y WAY OF WORKING IS QUITE OLD SCHOOL." overs of the roman society in a time when nobody could imagine that a civilization like this ever existed. I guess that will happen to our civilization as well. I think human kind will eventuly destroy itself. Nature will survive and develope new life forms. I call this SciFi Nature. It is not the retrofuturism of the 50’s, No human will see this in say a million years time. It is sad and gives hope at the same time. v stefangross.nl

‘Flower Bonanza’ 120x 120 x30cm From left to right: 2018 making ‘Flower Bonanza’, ’tree trunk’ (photo Stefan made in the woods) Giovanni Battista Piranesi, circus of mars [ets]


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