Driessens & van den Baar

The artist duo Nicole Driessens and Ivo van den Baar have been working together since 1999. They live and work in Rotterdam Oud Charlois.

Their artistry has developed around the question of how the reality of their immediate surroundings can be made into art. The central value of their work is the investigation into how this is possible. Which images from their reality can be transformed into art and what then is the meaning of the resulting work and the meaning of the artistry itself? Is it about engagement, an accusation or a purely visual statement? The ready-mades of piles of rubbish found on the street, dead pigeons or withered bouquets are the traces of human existence. They are contemporary versions of the classic still life, such as Vanitas, pointing out the transience of our existence. All this forms a visual database, which tells about the continuous search of mankind for a place on earth to live.

Migration is a continuously recurring topic as a result of their own traveling existence as artists, but even more so because of the social question about the meaning of continuous migration movements of people in and outside Europe as a result of poverty, wars, natural disasters or economic pressure. Which images are linked to this, in their immediate vicinity of Rotterdam and elsewhere? The Felt Plants, City Scapes, Traces and Dunkirk series are a direct result of this.

The work of Driessens & van den Baar shows a great love for materials and crafts. There is an important meaning in the attention paid to making the works with mainly textiles and epoxy resin. Both materials can be used in both two and three dimensions. They have an extensive range of technical possibilities and expressiveness. Works of art can be developed both painterly and sculptural depending on the applied techniques, which require a lot of attention and time. The triviality of the chosen subjects is canceled out by the time spent on a work of art. The dirt becomes the source of beauty.

Through this transformation, Driessens & van den Baar bring the raw outside world back into the home, but this time as works of art. From now on, the viewer will look at his surroundings with a different perspective.