This October, head over to London’s Plus One Gallery for an illuminating exhibition of exquisite wooden artworks.
Internationally renowned artist Diederick Kraaijeveld creates assemblages that give a fresh spin on familiar American cultural icons. In the exhibition you will find recognisable gems such as: a pair of Converse All Stars; a 1950s cover from the ‘Life’ magazine; a classic revolver and a tin of Heinz baked beans, to name but a few. As fans and collectors alike have come to expect, Kraaijeveld’s pieces have all been beautifully recreated from genuine, coloured vintage wood that the artist himself hand collects from around the globe; from tropical fishing boats to gorgeous 16th century Dutch mansions, the wood has been salvaged and reused with great care. Given that a single work can require over a hundred pieces of differently hued wood, this collecting process is as important as the actual assemblage of the found materials- and indeed, Kraaijeveld sometimes refers to himself as ‘oud hout’, Dutch for ‘old wood’!
Though the pieces are colourful, contrary to what it may initially seem, Kraaijeveld doesn’t use a drop of paint himself, preferring instead to preserve the original colours and hues- for as he has pointed out, the layers and layers of paint can create “a most beautiful combination”. This beautiful combination, of the original patina and of the untouched irregularity of the wood’s surface, means that the provenance and history of each artefact shines through in his work- and with great effectiveness. It is highly appropriate that Kraaijeveld’s famous series of basketball shoes have been created from old basketball courts in Detroit, since the shoes are thus not only preserving a slice of basketball history, but are made from the very wood that the basket-ball players themselves threw hoops upon!
It is clear that Kraaijeveld’s work isn’t just steeped in history; there is an unmistakable playfulness in them. Royal postage stamps, dollar bills and pound notes have not only been effectively recreated in wood, but also teasingly highlight how value is sometimes relative. As he points out, his works are built out of “materials that people have thrown away because they deemed it worthless”- the irony being that he reuses these forgotten pieces of wood to produce something highly precious. Indeed, he has more than succeeded in his goal “to create desirable works out of materials that people have thrown away thoughtlessly”.
Visit the exhibition for an absolute guarantee to be brightened up by the positively superb works of art on display!
Please scroll down for a selection of pieces from the show.