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Jan Eric Visser

Jan Eric Visser

‘‘I have been transforming my everyday inorganic garbage items into autonomous works of art since 1987. Thus I have been exploring an ecologically driven aesthetics respectful of earth’s resources and the cycle of nature and life. Aspiring for an artistic reconciliation between concept, matter and activism my art practice challenges our contemporary understanding of matter and existence. My work may be seen as a unique personal footprint, raising notions of consummation and transience, enigma and exigency, art and life.

At the Art Academy I researched all conventional materials like ceramics, glass, steel, wood but I felt none of these materials agreed with what I wanted to communicate. My childhood in Apeldoorn, a town close to the woods, had made me aware of nature’s life cycle. The Club of Rome had already published their concerns about the depletion of Earth’s resources. All of this seemed to come together in 1987 when I saw a newspaper – back then still a major communication medium - lying on the pavement that had hardened in the sun and wind after being completely pulped by a shower of rain. From that day I started making sculptures out of recycled paper. Filling them with my personal inorganic household waste and impregnating them with wax, these sculptures become like sturdy alternative waste containers. Thus I try to rescue valuable resources for future generations from incineration. Also I regard my choice of material as a metaphor for human inability to understand anything of what life is otherwise mankind would not pollute his own nest.

In 2008 I realized an outdoor sculpture of assembled litter from the countryside of Yorkshire -heart of the industrial revolution- covered in Aquadyne. This new material of 100% post consumer waste plastics is verified by University of Newcastle (UK) and has micro- and macro pores that enable the rooting of plants: even vegetables may be grown on it! Similarly, I have been working together with Technical University Eindhoven (NL) from 2015 to create sculptures from a new type of concrete made of waste materials only. A photocatalytic mineral has been added to eliminate air pollution. Thus it uses UV light to degrade small particles in the air we breathe known as nitrogen oxides.”


Jan Eric Visser (1962) is based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues like Verbeke Foundation (B), Museum Artipelag (SE), Museo de Casa Brasileira (BR), Museum 21_21 Design Sight (JP), GroundWork Gallery (UK) and Art Affairs Gallery (NL).

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