Travis Bickle's taxi emerges ominously from a plume of steam, rising from beneath the ground. It has a truly eerie feeling; we get the sense that we're not in a good place. After all, what good things ever appear from a cloud of smoke? Mostly it tends to be zombies, ghost ships and occasionally Voldemort. Some would say this steam is almost as representative of New York City as its towering skyscrapers. From manhole covers to giant white and orange tubes, similar to something out of a Dr. Seuss book, steam billows out onto the streets.
Steam is not exclusive to Scorsese setting the opening scene of a film or even to New York City but it continues to carry those same connotations regardless of location. Botlek, Rotterdam is where K_Van carried out his primary research for the residency, focusing on steam or smoke being expelled into the air from vents or chimneys. He then went about recreating this in 3D low polygon models, reminiscent of early iterations of crash bandicoot or Spyro.
The culmination is a collection of images in the form of a scrapbook bound together with lines and shapes, presented in a SVG format on a one-paged-website. This format brings the focus onto the work process and production; one is able to track the artistic development of the work. He has married the conceptual with the physical, bodily realities of his process and pulled back the curtain on the process itself. This is, in a way, exactly what the residency is about; the journey, not the destination.
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A desolated abode, tools left behind after a certain unknown event. There is no one to justify this nor to tell its story. K_Vanpaints a vision of obsolete civilization that could be a representation of the present. As we get closer to the painted canvases, the technique surprises us. Amongst the oil there are lines drawn with real threads; the hand, the man is still present. The artist himself with his technical background - once he was a student of Mining Engineering – has not let technology fall. He draws and executes with the precision of an engineer, first pencil on paper, then Using 3D Modelling Software; then comes the sense to turn to finish the painting.
The SketchUp Residency