Daan Botlek: Relativism, proportions and curiosity
Drawing is the basis of Daan Botlek’s works, and the focus is the naked human body in its most basic form, without any biological features or elements to indicate a possible identity of the characters. As the artist explains: “I needed to go minimalist in style and subject in order to get to the bare essence of an image.”
‘K-hole String Theory’
‘Thunder Squid Diorama’
The white silhouettes are sliced, fragmented, entangled, shown running, hiding or engaged in ambiguous activities. According to Daan Botlek, many of his works follow the tradition of the visual narrative: “They tell a story; most of them as a moment in an ongoing story and some as a sequence of events unfolding over time. The main characters, the concepts and the environments are constructed by and at play with the laws of geometry and physics (proportion). The meaning of the works is never clear or explained. There are an infinite number of interpretations for the images, any one of which may be considered valid (relativism). The audience is challenged to participate in the creation of the story; a meaning is generated in the process of sorting things out (curiosity).”
‘Schismatic Tendencies’, Oranienbaum, Germany
‘Concave to Convex’, Leipzig, Germany
In the case of his interventions in the public space, the figures interact with the environment and the passerby, while elements with different properties – sticks, ropes, stones and transparent geometric volumes – bring new meaning to the story.
‘Pushing Particles’, Moscow, Russia, for Outline Festival
‘Gulliver’, Leipzig, Germany
Although based on the same principles of proportion and appealing to the viewer’s curiosity, in the ‘Naakt Bloed’ projects, the artist no longer focuses on relativism, but reacts to the art world, pop culture, politics and religion.
Part of the series ‘Duchamplifying’
Part of the series ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’
Daan Botlek is also one of the founders of the art project If Paradise Is Half As Nice (IPIHAN), focused on making art and organizing exhibitions in abandoned buildings, in less than four weeks: “These conditions make for a ‘pressure cooker’ effect: the fast exchange of ideas, the limited time to execute them, finding ways to realize them without getting noticed by the authorities, and the camaraderie to make all of this happen.”
All images © Daan Botlek