Publisher: Mister Three
Handiedan is getting pretty big as an artist. Her artwork is turning heads all around the world and for good reason. The collages of collectibles, sheet music, pin-ups and sketches are a creative clash between old and new. The structures and atmosphere of a time long gone is cut up into tiny pieces and rearranged into a contemporary new fresh
form that looks both modern and vintage. Visually, her art is best described as looking like someone took the vintage art of Gil Elvgren and glued it on a wall covered with old posters, paint, dirt and scribbles. And then somebody came along and sliced it up just to glue it back together again. We meet up with Handiedan in her studio in Amsterdam to talk about essence, aesthetics, the present and plans for the future.
Another cool project is a collaboration I am going to do with the London Police.
We are going to take part in a show for the Black Book gallery in Denver (US).
It is going to be in black and white and that is also pretty new for my work.
Normally my work is filled with colour and structures. But now I am investigating the power of black and white again. It will be an evolution for me, but as a former photography student with a passion for black and white it is not a surprise that I want to see where it leads me. The guys from London Police are really cool and I know the works that we will produce are going to be awesome.
Also the expositions are piling up as we speak. There will be a cool exposition in Rome at the Mondo Bizarro gallery, a group exposition at the Spoke art gallery in San Fancisco
and a show at the Phone Booth gallery in Los Angeles.
Initially I tried the Netherlands first, but unfortunately when it comes to art the Dutch tend to look outside of the Netherlands. Now that I am successful, galleries here start asking me to work with them, while one and a half year back they where not interested.
I don’t get that. People all over the world love Dutch art and design. But for the Dutch galleries and buyers it takes success abroad for them to notice an artist from their own country. At this point I am looking into the possibility of doing some shows in Amsterdam, but only when it feels right.
I realise that in some cultures my art is viewed as controversial. My art uses images of strong women, tattoos and other elements from alternative lifestyles. Some people say it is feminist or gay art, some call it retro-erotica. But in the end everyone makes up their own mind and that is the way I intend it. For me, my work is purely aesthetic.
I digitally scan all these objects and make my art with those elements. Firstly I look for perfection in my art, which I know contradicts with the imperfect elements I use.
But once I have created the image I have in mind, I cut it down and deconstruct it to experiment with the image and what can be done to transform it. When it is all decomposed and recomposed I start sketching and doodling on my work. It is a sort of commentary on my own work. And in a lot of cases it provides a sense of humour and airiness to my work. I love duality: strong images and airiness, perfect images and random elements. Everything to find the image that works for me. And stuff that at first seems to be a failure, always turns out to be my favourite pieces of work. There are a thousand ways for me to solve the puzzle of the perfect image. And they all result in exciting works of art for me.