Maarten van Schaik, Wouter Stelwagen
June 14 – July 4, 2013
The exhibition will be opened by Menno Wigman, fith poet of the city of Amsterdam
In this show the artists Wouter Stelwagen, Daniele Sambo and Maarten van Schaik give their own interpretation of the modern city. They observe, comment and abstract urban areas, buildings, objects and specific places.
The work Daniele Sambo (Venice 1983) is presenting, engages in an inquiry on re‐appropriation of unused/underused urban space in the city. Looking at wastelands, retaken and transformed by people, and representing them in a new form, during the night, when under cover of darkness everything is unified, a blank canvas on which he could re-imagine another space through the manipulation of light. By planting lights in specific areas of these spaces Sambo is able to highlight particular areas and conversely hide others and in doing so, redefine the borders.
Daniele Sambo, who gained an MDes in Photography at the Glasgow School of Art in 2011, considers these places to be symbols, understated beacons of a new civil society, where the participants understand the importance of community and its relationship to the environment. Whilst our cities are obsessed with monumental architecture, where towers, the very embodiment and physical manifestation of power, are being continually erected, these small pockets of greenery challenge our perceptions of land and ownership, but also perhaps point towards a new more inclusive and tolerant society.
Maarten van Schaik portrays cars in his series Car Nudes, and therewith wants to reveal the beauty of the car as an object. The setting for his pictures is the city. In the hustle and bustle of the city, Maarten (Gouda, 1973) is searching for silence and he sees the cars as painted bodies, to which he is fascinated by the colors, materials, lines and sensual forms of the car and he tries to abstract this in his camera. Beautiful in this series is how nature still plays a role in the abstract and perfectly lacquered types of cars. A reflection of a cloudy sky in the windows, the whimsical shapes of the trunks of different trees above a pool-blue surface, as opposed to all that showy red.
Van Schaik, graduated from the Rietveld Academy in 1997, is not so much interested in the literal registration of objects, but rather in the atmosphere, the feeling, the ‘color’ of the moment. Abandoned places and things attract his attention. Over the years, he tries again and again to highlight that seemingly insignificant. The loneliness of a broken car, the light in an empty street.
Wouter Stelwagen is searching in his work for the silence within the borders of a metropolitan city, and for the twilight zone of the city, the boundaries between culture and nature. His photographs are a testimony of silence, a visual document of a landscape of beautiful solitude, and an artistic process in which the artist dares to remove the social context of the civilized world.
Wouter’s sense of geometry is captured in each frame and composition. He creates a visual journey that leads us to the passivity and contemplation that is in all of us. At the same time these photos show the chilly loneliness that develops in the large cities, where daily life is moving away from the warmth and human touch.