- What work of yours can change the world and why?
- Over the years I have done a lot of commercial work. Marketing is very finely sharpened to shift something, with very specific audiences. Advertisers have often just split seconds to push someone deeper and deeper into a sales funnel or to plant a certain thought in them. In order to make this work, they need to be very aware of what they say, how, to whom, in what context. It's fascinating, it works incredibly well (still) but it is also very dangerous. Marketing can be used to save lives and the planet, but it can also be used to push us all closer to extinction. We see the results of some successful marketing on our burning planet.
Knowing this, I did whatever I could to work only on projects that had the ability to somehow change things for the better. I even co-founded companies based on that idea.
But my art is also a counterweight or the other side of the spectrum to the commercial work.
What I am most interested in is the thinking and the emotions that are deeply embedded in all of us. So this is a much more universal look at everything and also one that inspires and hopefully nudges to better reflection.
We seem to be a bit like explorers on a time limited journey of a discovery that needs to happen through us. Each one of us has to cross an ocean of impressions, memories and some mysterious energetic experiences. So what can we do with all this?
When I deal with my personal memories I attempt to turn them into objects or images. And I also contemplate how the process happens the other way. I do this with whatever tools I have available to me.
The results take often years to complete. Some are very open or not quite what they seem. And many are not compatible with how we consume our world through our thumbs. But sometimes yes.
Ideally some of my art would allow the viewer to reflect on their own existence and how we are all connected. (A lot of what I just said is completely universal to us all. It's the context and the tools that vary, the path taken so far varies.)
One of the problems is that much of how we look at the world is done through stamp size objects on a shiny screen, surrounded and often soaked in advertising that has been brilliantly designed to distract or push them down a sales funnel. Even before someone arrives at an exhibition, they have usually seen the work or parts of it. In that context. The Metaverse will make things different but also not.
When you look at the work that helped me win the Arte Laguna Prize 15 (in the painting category), then the drawings are a reflection on how we as humans are not really great at organizing the resources we find on the planet.
On one hand it is exciting that we can drill into the crust of the Earth and find stored the energy that was collected by forests millions of years ago.
But only now are we slowly able to realize that tapping into that locked away energy source in a too greedy way can possibly wipe out a lot of life on this planet and destroy a lot of what we have accomplished. And there is no planet B, of course.
If my work helps the right people to become move viscerally aware of this process, then we might end up with ideas that could save us. By looking at some ideas in a new way, I hope to also help others to do something similar.
My work around memories and the ability to transform often negative experiences into beautiful objects is another instance where possibly someone could feel inspired to deal with their challenging thoughts in a new and beautiful way. I am thinking of my new photography, like the one I just recently exhibited at the Hampstead School of Art in London. Thousands of photographs amalgamated into work the looks like paintings.
I create because it is the time and place to create. I am transforming what's around me into something that has gone through my very personal experience. This has a lot of potential to change the world. But it will only happen when more stars align.
It feels like this current complicated world has more stars than ever. Aligning them becomes more and more difficult.
Easier to see and find. More difficult to align.