On the day he turns forty, visual artist Tom Woestenborgh decides to focus on the creative process alone for a year. For a year he wants to make art without ulterior motives. He limits himself to three themes: floral still life, nude and abstract. But making art without an ulterior motive soon turns out to be an impossible task.
The flower still life and the nude are old themes in art history, to which meanings are attached. Flowers are ephemeral and for that reason have been associated with memento mori for centuries. Female nudity has been about female beauty for centuries, but in our time it also provokes social discussions about identity and power relations. And forces the viewer into the role of voyeur. And even abstract art is not meaningless. Shapes, colors and use of materials again evoke associations.
In short, even if the artist says he has no underlying idea with his work, the works still evoke associations in the viewer. Simply because of our experience with interpreting images. Art has to be about something and there is no escaping it.
Tom Woestenborghs is a visual artist who uses photographic images as a basis for collages. He collects and archives images from newspapers, magazines, videos and the internet that he uses later. If an artist takes an existing image out of its context and uses it as a work of art, then he has a purpose for it. As an artist you raise a social issue for discussion.
Woestenborghs' work appears to be photographic, but in fact they are collages, made up of many layers of adhesive plastic, up to twelve layers. Trained as a painter, Woestenborghs switched to adhesive plastic because this material has a brighter effect than paint. He shows his collages as 'paintings' but also as light boxes.
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