As curator of the Downlands exhibition I love having the opportunity to bring not only beautiful works, but works that include a message or social commentary. This work is one of my favourite from the exhibition this year. it's such a great work. Composition, execution and message are all right out there for the viewer to access. Contemporary art at its finest!
Artist Statement Sjaak Kooij (EN)In my work I use elements of actuality, such as social, cultural or political issues that define our times. I take images from media and everyday events – alternated with footage from my personal archive – out of their original context, which creates an exciting interaction between image and content. As a result the spectator will be confronted with these contemporary topics in an entirely different way.
Themes as anonymity, estrangement, individualism and transience play a big role in the artwork. These themes – occasionally in an absurd staging – confront the spectator with the ideas and posed questions I put in. Hereby not taking position, but rather allowing the viewer to experience.
The work represents a search for boundaries, in which technique and image merge into a whole. Imagining these extremes manifests itself in dynamics and strong contrasts. The work derives partly
from the expressionistic method or is rather staged as substantive contrast. The different contrasts are not only reflected in content, but also in technique and design. Due to a layered method of working the painting will create a dialogue with itself during the process.
The act of painting itself, working with different materials with paint as its foundation, is an important part of the establishment of the artwork. The process of adding, removing and repainting, but above all exploring the medium painting, is essential for me as an artist.