Maastricht is a beautiful town. I say that because it's not flat like most of the Netherlands. Coming from San Francisco, I miss the vertically stimulating topography - or any topography - so when I saw the sloping planes of almost Belgium, I felt homesick. Our trip was simple - go and see Gregor Wintgens and Sandra Hanckman's new work for Maastricht's KunstTour. I am sure there were lot's of artists to see that weekend, but we traveled the distance JUST to see them.
I have spent a bit of time reviewing both of these artist's work, having known Gregor since I first stepped foot in Amsterdam, I was familiar with his genre. I knew Hanckmann's work would compliment Wintgens use of line, but the combination was much more that that. The gritty rawness of Wintgens collages really complimented the abstraction of Hanckmann's limited edition prints.
With a background in video, Hanckmann's digital art borders on the surreal, with it's dissonant, warped faces. The figures are haunting and powerful story tellers, I particularly liked the one below, entitled "Drie is een menigte (Three's a crowd)"
Hanckmann's illustrative skill makes for beautiful compositions. I have developed a new appreciation for digital art, but my eye will always search for the texture of the materials - it's trained to look for the layers of paint and pastels and in this case there are none. Hanckman's work still satisfied my textural needs and I walked away quite pleased to meet her vinyl people, especially this guy:
On the Wintgens side of the spectrum, I got confronted by the raw edge of what turned out to be some of his older work, like these gems:
This collection dates back to the late 90's - and what I love about seeing an artist's older work is that you can sometimes see how the future unfolds. This presence of the written word becomes more and more relevant in Wintgens later work. His love of the raw graffiti - stemming from his days in, where? Where exactly did this love of his come from? Yep, South Limburg, Genk, Den Haag, Amsterdam and Maastrict - but inspiration is international. And Gregors love of graffiti type shows it's glimmer in his older work and then develops into his own 24 carat typography that you can see below:
....and since we know Gregor and were right across the street from his studio, he walks to check out just how he makes his magic. Don't think that he only works flat, either, check out this gem:
What I loved most about seeing Gregor's work space is to see what happens when he and Hanckman work together:
There's a lot more to be said about these two artists, but finding them in Maastrict is the best way to do it. Gregor's next show, "In between jobs," opens on September 8th at PeerGallery in Maastrict (Facebook event, here) - which we may be organizing an event around. I am getting some info for Sandra's next viewing possibility and will update the post. when I know when you can find her.