Berlin-based contemporary artist, Rachel de Joode, blends the realms of photography, sculpture, and painting. A graduate of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, de Joode delves deep into the interplay between three-dimensional objects and their two-dimensional portrayals.
One of her notable series, Stacked Sculptures (2015-2017), features photographs of sculptural materials and gestures, such as squeezing and hand movements. These stacked materials morph into abstract forms, supported by prosthetic structures. Standing at around 2 meters, these towering works not only engage the viewer but also challenge their perceptions due to their slimness and trompe l’oeil effect.
During the spring lockdown, de Joode conceptualized Sloppy Therapy, reflecting on our digital interaction with art. She observes the modern tendency to zoom into images on mobile devices, often missing the broader picture. This zoom-centric behavior reshapes our engagement with physical artworks, leading to a fascinating duality in observation.
De Joode’s approach to the canvas is refreshingly unique. She perceives it as a mere object, valuing its raw materiality over traditional artistic associations. Treating the canvas sculpturally, she manipulates it with paint, pigments, resin, and even physical alterations like cutting or tearing. Her aim is a dadaistic celebration of the canvas’s tangible essence.
Moreover, she diligently documents her canvas experiments, amassing over 10,000 images. These serve as a foundation for her final pieces, where she digitally composes using tools like Photoshop. Through close-ups and abstract edits, her finished paintings exude a rich texture, enticing viewers with their seeming tangibility.
By seamlessly weaving the physical and digital, Rachel de Joode offers a fresh perspective on contemporary art, challenging and delighting the viewer in equal measure.