Concurrently on view in the Thinkspace project room is Elegant Universe, featuring new work by Dutch artist Handiedan. Handiedan creates elaborate three dimensional collage pieces from a cut and paste method of re-assemblage. Starting with the iconic imagery of the vintage pin-up girl, popularized in the 30’s, the artist creates complex images from a combination of pattern, figurative imagery, and symbol. Her materials are culled from a vast array of printed cultural currency. Appropriating everything from postage stamps, and legal tender, to origami paper patterns, and historical sheet music motifs, the artist’s work is a combination of re-design and aggregation. Her multi-layered compositions transform found two dimensional imagery, literally re-imagining it in relief.
Handiedan’s facility and skill in graphic design, illustration, and photography, is immediately visible in her complex works. Graphically sophisticated, their actual assemblage involves a highly detailed sculptural component. The artist incorporates wood and other materials to raise the surfaces and increase their dimensionality. At times the works feel like complex visual puzzles, with pattern and figurative elements interchangeably intermixed. The degree of complexity and depth is impressive. A pastiche of historical styles, the artist borrows from the Baroque to the Neo-Classical, and from the Victorian to the post-war eras. Handiedan explores beauty as a process of aggregation and re-construction, as she re-assembles the found into highly detailed compositions. The artist also incorporates subtle drawing elements – small tattoos, and seemingly haphazard ballpoint pen doodles – to remind us of her agency in the work’s making, and to strategically interrupt her artfully re-purposed illusions.
Internationally exhibited, Handiedan has shown extensively. Her work is currently part of a significant Museum survey show entitled: HEY! Modern Art & Pop Culture II at Musée La Halle Saint Pierre, in Paris, France.