Introduction to my work

The prevalance of deceit is present in the pursuit of desire
(John Donne, Luminarium editions 1653)

With my work I investigate the relation between (mostly commercial) stereotypes and human desires. My main interest here lies in the overblown aspects of this relationship: the mega-statussymbols, the super rich & famous etc. Especially how the hunt for status explicitly manifests itself in for instance
urban aesthetics (e.g. the hiphop culture), fascinates me.

Within this context I am inspired by the biological priciple of mimicry: the imitation of one species (or group of species) by another. The most common form is Batesian mimicry in which for instance a harmless hoverfly is coloured like an unpleasant wasp in order to confuse a predator.

As the hoverfly imitates the wasp, I am trying to imitate commercial and cultural stereotypes: I am not trying to make a perfect imitation of the original, but rather approach the imitation of the original as effective as I can. This is the reason why I mostly use low-budget, low-grade materials in my work, like unprocessed polysterene and polyurethane foam: I explicitly try to leverage the contrast between the original and the copy as much as possible.

One example of how this contrast is expressed in my work is ‘Dreamer, Pleaser Supercar’, a real size reproduction made out of polysterene of the supercar ‘Lamborghini Murciélago.’ The question how we, as consumers, connect our personality to material objects; elevate to symbols, and lifestyle, is what I want to investigate in this work. We buy myths, dreams, a way of life. The idea of mimicry is applicable here; to be better equipped towards others, we adapt ourselves constantly in shape, color or sound.

In ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ my graduation project at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI, Enschede, NL), I investigate representations of ghetto glamour: the stereotypical, romanticized gang symbols of urban culture. To illustrate: the marking out of neighbourhood territory by street gangs, enforcing their respect and power with the use of the ‘bling-bling’ of fire weapons. ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Some people demand it; others want you to beg for it. Still others swim in their own. Respect is something everyone wants and some people carry their desire for it to the extreme.’