Dutch artist couple, artist duo living and working in Tilburg, The Netherlands
Artist duo VanGerven|VanRijnberk have a hybrid art practice that extends from fine art & curating, to design and concepting. VanGerven|Van Rijnberk also run SEA Foundation, an experimental exhibition space with an Artist in Residence Programme, A.i.R. Tilburg. The artists met in 2004 and have been collaborating on art projects since 2008. Jan-Willem Van Rijnberk (1957) graduated with an MA from HKU, Utrecht and was heavily involved in performance art and crossovers. His performative work took him all over Europe. Riet Van Gerven (1955) is an Amsterdam Rietveld Academy graduate, with a designing and artistic research practice that took her from London to Singapore.
Conceptual and tangible
VanGerven|VanRijberk’s hybrid art practice is both conceptual and tangible. It hovers on the verge of art, design and cultural activism, developing new forms of cooperation with their audiences and local communities. VanGerven|VanRijnberk experience a diffused line between life and art, as the strength of their work lies in the commitment of their personal lives and their work which intermingle with day to day banality. In their works VanGerven|VanRijnberk explore the material nature of our world and how we perceive and experience it, thereby questioning how these mediate our experience.
In life and activities, the artist duo VanGerven|VanRijnberk reflect, from a personal perspective, on themes that are of global importance; issues such as sustainability, tourism, heritage, inclusion and exclusion. They tell (stories) about our experiences in the form of diary-like videos, drawings, photographs and paintings. On the border of the public and the private domain, of art and life, of the individual and the collective VanGerven|VanRijnberk make distinctive and innovative works which push the boundaries of visual language and common sense. Always looking to extend man’s experience of the natural physical world to create visual interpretations.
Plato’s Cave Allegory:
It is the artist’s responsibility to create objects that can transcend terrestrial life by giving us a glimpse of the metaphysical. As art can exceed the gloomy world in which we live and show us the beauty of what lies beyond – the magnificence of all those things that throw the lesser shadows onto the cave wall that make up our reality. ‘Originals’ are the literal and metaphorical trash of contemporary culture, and nothing like the divine beauty Plato talks about.
Works of -at present innovative ways to production-, which is in itself a political gesture that challenges audiences. VanGerven|VanRijnberk are strongly motivated to develop new perceptions on the way to a better society and to de-tox influences of our contemporary, rigid, consumer culture and its narcissistic obsessions. Riet van Gerven and Jan-Willem van Rijnberk appear successful alchemists: they metaphorically turn base metal into gold, thereby creating anti-monuments to our every-day reality.
Netherlands, Turkey, Germany, England, France
Artist book “It’s Nice That”
All Images by ©vangervenvanrijnberk