LETTER TO ANTONY, OCTOBER 14 2017
Hope you had a save trip back home. And the work is not flooding over -lets say- your eye balls. How was Venice? Heard much about it, but wasnít able to go
myself. Did you see any good stuff?
What Iím thinking: Maybe I already try to explain what Iím working on, till there are proper photoís or you make it to the studio. Okť?
The most exciting thing to me is that itís really sculpture sculptures Iím working on. It feels as if itís the first time I do this kind of work, and I
like it a lot. Different from the guitars or my furniture-like objects, they really evolved from the drawings itself. They are all wood and paint, some with
fragments of plastic. In the beginning I painted them with oil, the more recent are done with acrylic. The wood is all leftovers glued together, pieces I
find in containers or in the park here at the end of the street.
(Most of the trees in the park are willow. Pollard willow. It is really soft and grows super fast. But the pieces that are cut and left are rather thin and
not very useful when it comes to sculpting. Now a few months ago one of the uncut, full-grown willows came down completely with a hard wind. So I managed to
get hold of some bigger pieces.)
(Hope my explaining is not too much unsophisticated-spoken-language; Iím reading J. D. Salingerís Franny and Zooey again.)
What I mean with evolved from the drawings is that I had this drawing, Saddle for girls with skirts, (excuse my ever erotic mind) and I really wanted to see
this image as an object. So I made it. Basically a sculpted illustration of a drawing. Or a sculpture after a drawing. But also, and thatís a second way of
putting it, in drawing a lot has to do with the illusion of space. All this effort to create an illusion of depth. Now with the sculpture itís already there
from the start. So easy and super concrete, quite a liberation I must say.
But also the use of color is different. This summer we got a dishwasher. (We got a freezer too, and a car, although I still donít driveÖ but more about that
later.) And it wonít come as a surprise that the way you look at the sponge for dishwashing completely changes when you donít have to use it half of the Saturdays
anymore. Itís a fascinating object with beautiful colors. To paint the colors and to make the form seemed logic in the same way I once started the wall drawings
(the Catalogue for a room series); a way of documenting what you leave behind. So far I made about ten sponge-replicaís.
Iím not sure if I should worry, but the process reminds me of how some of the Pop (The New Super Realism) was done. I have this book by Mario Amaya from 1965,
Pop Art Ö and after, I got from my first drawing professor, and as always when you read, it fits incredibly into what youíre doing at the moment. (About the worrying:
I believe it was Ingmar Bergman who said that the maker should not analyse his own makingsÖ) (My wife corrects me: Itís Andrei Tarkovsky!)
Since that I did a hearing-protection-headset. Itís one of my crucial tools in the wood workshop, but also, it makes you feel alone in a good way. It isolates the
visual from all the rest. Then the camera I used to make the dirty-pictures-slideshow with, a football after a drawing of an anecdote where a friend teaches me how
to hit the ball, (look at the spot where your foot actually will touch the ball, not at the goal) guitar effect pedals that are on my wish list, and very recently I
finished a cap. Itís actually advertising for beer, festival proof. My daughter brought it home. I love to wear it, but never dare to do it in public. As I told you
before, all are painted wood, some with little plastic and metal.
The piece Iím currently working on is a sculpture of a light jacket which hangs on a simple coat hanger. It illustrates the moment on a party when you give up being
stiff and uncomfortable, hang your coat away, and are able to dance.
All pieces are tight up with personal stories and represent objects that are meant for use close to or on the body. Sculptures of a daily life.
Hopefully until very soon,
P.S. The title, I didnít say anything about the title yet! And about DŁrer.
Klaas Vanhee 's website.