My 40-year career embodies pushing boundaries, charting new directions, and regular reinventions. Embracing abstraction, this practice reveals influences from my Dutch heritage, the cosmos and ‘looking up.’ In the 80s, I commissioned a skywriter to draw a 4-mile diameter ‘smoke ring’ over downtown Toronto at sunset. “HALO PIECE” was a drawing-performance hybrid modeled after the Ring Nebula. Subsequently, the Universe Drawings proposed new ways of seeing by revealing optical phenomena from cosmic light as well as from crystal interactions to disclose perceptions about the architecture of human sight.
Current interests explore the cosmos through astronomy texts and all manner of related documents and photographs in an attempt to comprehend the human experience: time, place, origin, and collective consciousness. I create poetic, fictional interpretations derived from studied aspects of the universe by providing discreet glimpses into the sublime. These investigations received acclaim and curatorial consensus with major events in Basel, Berlin, Nuit Blanche Toronto, the 2012 Sydney Biennale, and most recently at The National Gallery of Canada. The new work also initiated a series of experimental acrylic on aluminum pieces informed by the 2010-13 ‘sterrenstof’ paintings. Containing all manner of collected and purchased stardust, the ‘paint-objects’ evolved into celestial repositories.
My process is guided by an accumulating interest in the sciences — not to duplicate science, nor to make art out of science. I embrace those deeper and more expansive aspects and keep a working diary of thoughts. There is a cosmological analogy that appears through the humanities, the contemplative, and within this body of work: Looking without needing an answer.