About my work

My work stems from ongoing attempts to create images which are beyond generally accepted classification. The results are intentional and accidental which offer resistance to the world of the obvious logic and efficiency. These results (painting and sculptures) I combine in installations to a new and temporary order of things. A world where it is no longer about escaping, but about discovering and finding.

One of my heroes Werner Herzog described a similar observation as follows, a position where I can relate to very much:

“I have often spoken of what I call the inadequate imagery of today's civilization. I have the impression that the images that surround us today are worn out; they are abused and useless and exhausted. They are limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution. When I look at the postcards in tourist shops and the images and advertisements that surround us in magazines, or I turn on the television, or if I walk into a travel agency and see those huge posters with that same tedious image of a tropical island on them, I truly feel there is some dangerous emerging here. The biggest danger in, my opinion, is television because to a certain degree it ruins our vision and makes us very sad and lonesome. Our grandchildren will blame us for not having tossed hand-grenades into TV stations because of commercials. Television kills our imagination and what we end up with are worn-out images because of the inability of too many people to seek out fresh ones.”

In a world packed with subjective knowledge, metaphors and symbols we are constantly busy with interpreting and communicating. Through cultural agreements, we try to define and concretize meaning in order to use them. Nevertheless, we seem to misunderstand each other all the time. We need many words to create interpretation, but while talking we are getting further away from the core. My work indicates the possibility of a free space somewhere between the things that break away from our compulsive tendency to tame the world around us, and to fix appointments and conclusions. A free space that doesn’t arise from thinking first and then act, but from acting and reacting, and then seeing.

Paradoxically, it where precisely the explorers, men of science and taxonomy, that sought out, the previously mentioned, free zone like no other. Although the purpose of their journey was classification, they moved into a limbo of searching and not knowing it. This intermediate world is also a great inspiration in my work. It symbolizes the free zone in which the adventure of travel and discovery goes hand in hand with the desire for the unknown. In my work this parallel often comes back. Sometimes covered and sometimes directly.

From 2010 until 2012 I made paintings under the name John Cabot. Cabot was an intriguing explorer who lived from 1451 to 1498 and discovered Newfoundland (Canada). In my paintings I let myself be guided by the previous touch or action without first knowing where it takes me. A direct and investigative process in which I try to subvert my own assumptions and preferences. In the work 'Love Birds & Space Shuttles ' that I made for the exhibition 'ALL IS GIVING' and in the solo exhibition 'OBVIOUSLY' in 1646 in The Hague revolve around the ideas of exploration and its associated mentality of observing and acting. I wanted to invite and challenge the visitor to make discoveries themselves through my work.

The materials I use for my sculptures are very diverse but specific in nature. They speak a concrete idiom through which they suggest a clear meaning. At the same time, the way I shape the materials to form often leads to a moment of unsuccessful recognition by the viewer. The work puts them on the wrong leg and makes room for reinterpretation of what one sees. While working on my paintings and sculptures at the same time in my studio something similar happens. I search, combine and try to find recognition in what I did not know and to be surprised by my own eyes.

My images are specific and abstract, familiar and strange. In conjunction with each other they form very personal collections of form, color and visual associations. They are proposals for the taxonomy of the temporary convertible order. All you see is a fragment, hesitatingly, always referring to himself or something else. In this environment where nothing speaks for itself, everything speaks for each other. In a language where words fail.

Bonno van Doorn