Big, Bigger, BIG ART BIJLMERBAJES 2022
There’s big art and then there’s BIG ART. With its maximalist artworks, the second edition of Big Art 2022 was right on trend. And what was even better, was the kick-ass location of the former Bijlmerbajes prison complex in Amsterdam. I was at the opening party as everything looked absolutely mind-blowing in the dark. The lack of light made it a bit more challenging to take decent photos, and so I decided to go back during the day – just for you! And what better way to celebrate big art than with a big ass blogpost?
Big Art Bijlmerbajes 2022
First up, Joana Schneider. I had already seen this particular piece at Art Rotterdam earlier this year and it looked every bit as beautiful at Big Art.
This Water Gate by Dropstuff played organ sounds as the tank above your head filled with 134 litres of water – which is the shocking amount of water an average Dutchman uses every day.
Look carefully and you’ll discover lots of mythological references in these works by Stijn Elshuis.
Oh, how I love, love, love this work by Marian Genet. It looked even better at the Bijlmerbajes than at its previous location at Dutch Design Week.
Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR paintings by Julia Kaiser to admire at the Bijlmerbajes! I don’t know about you, but with modern art I’m often not really sure what it is I’m looking at…
…but luckily every artist at Big Art had a website to explore. It turns out that Iris Woutera’s Deform pieces on display were actually flexible cocoons that envelop the human body. How cool!
Julia Kaiser and Iris Woutera – what a lovely duo! Remnants of what was once one of the Netherlands’ most notorious prisons were still visible – the perfect location for an art exhibition such as Big Art.
Back to the art! This light sculpture by Peter Vink wasn’t exactly easy to capture in a decent photo, but take it from me…it was beautiful!
Another example of ‘you had to be there to fully appreciate it’ was this fantastic light panel by Rick Regelaar that displayed slowly moving patterns.
Don’t you ever wonder what happens with huge, beautiful but ultimately non-interior friendly works like the one you see here? Does anyone buy them and if so, where do they end up? If I don’t forget, I’m going to ask sculptor Kees Elffers the next time I see him!
Now, these babies called Many Shapes of… by Studio Kars+Boom I can definitely see right here at home You would think that with its red tie this Enlarged Suit by Angelica Falkeling was some sort of anti-Trumpian statement, but it actually isn’t!
These In Lucem lights by Tamar Frank of Lightspace were a sight to behold but a bitch to photograph.
And there he is again! I loved Pepe Triginer Valenti’s work when I saw it in Eindhoven last week, and I loved it again at the Bijlmerbajes.
Artist Aletta Bos loves everything botanic – and it shows!
These collages by Dominique Zwartelé definitely got my creative juices flowing.
It’s big, it’s fluffy, it’s colorful…and I bet that tons of people at Big Art liked this work by Emmy Zwagers best – I know I did!
Tapestries seem to be making a bit of a comeback, I saw several at the Venice Art Biennale, there were some at Art Rotterdam – and now there’s this beautiful specimen by Katerina Gabriel Konarovská.
OMG a charcoal drawing like this one by the insanely talented Axel Roy can make me green with envy. Just look at all the details!
This work by Antoine Peters was a favorite with many of the the children at Big Art.
I spent a considerable amount of time this afternoon checking out Erik-Jan van der Schuur’s works on his website. Some very pleasant surprises and interesting combinations of floral compositions and portraits of Putin and Hitler.
I liked Erik-Jan’s work so much that I actually bought one of his paintings after Big Art had ended. You like?
Not something I’d necessarily see in my living room, but still totally fascinated by this video installation by Jessica van Deursen!
My best friend Ingrid and I both agreed that Momente in Gesellschaft by Michael Schaefer made us think of a black and white version of Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet. And that, of course, is a huge compliment!
I interviewed Lisette Schumacher for the website of the Rotterdam Art Library back in 2020. Her work is bold and colorful, just the way I like it! Take a look at her beautiful website and you’ll know what I mean.
The name of the artist who made this nice painting of a swimming pool is FENX. Judging from his Instagram feed, I get the impression that he picked something a little less ooh-la-la for Big Art, because I see dozens of sssssexy ladies in various states of undress in his other works – not that there’s anything wrong with that!
Belgian artist Adele Renault was BORN to be in Big Art. She’s known for her huge murals featuring people, pigeons and plants. You can see a very cool making of video of this particular painting of an agave right here.
I’ve been known to wear a vintage silk scarf every now and then. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that these upcycled scarves by fashion designer Diederik Verbakel are right up my alley. And although I don’t have space for a combo of twelve scarves, I might just pick up a single scarf from Diederik’s excellent webshop.
Buy a few nice vintage kimono’s on Amsterdam’s Waterlooplein market, add some glittery textiles and then turn it all into a fabulous installation called Silky Memories. The artist is Femmie Duiven and this is her website.
Artist Julia Kaiser saved a bunch of old shirts her family had worn over the past ten years and turned them into a tapestry called My Family. It’s cute!
Another interesting tapestry at Big Art was this piece by Celia Hadeler. Am I the only one who finds it slightly suggestive or do I just have a dirty mind?
Definitely one of the most impressive paintings at Big Art came from Sjaak Kooij, Raafat Ballan and Peter de Boer, three very talented artists who joined hands and came up with this masterpiece called Passing by Jupiter.
Is there anything this she cannot do? Singer, songwriter, actress, painter and woman who lives down my street here in Rotterdam Frédérique Spigt has it going on.
Just because it’s big, doesn’t mean it can’t be subtle yet impressive. This piece by Mark Kramer contained what must be tens of thousands of tiny perforated holes. So much WORK but definitely worth it as you can see.
Fun fact: The artist who made this piece, Pim Palsgraaf, once spent five days in a completely enclosed dark room, without time or noise. According to his website, Palsgraaf realized that time is only a concept. That I understand – but the first thing that came to my mind at least was…where did he go to the bathroom?
These columns by Marleen Sleeuwits were instant crowd pleasers – it took me ages to get a clear shot of them.
Oh Katrin Kampmann! Your colorful paintings certainly know how to press all my buttons!
Another talented German artist making really bright and colorful at Big Art was Marc Jung. It’s a big more street arty, which is normally not my thing (hey, you can’t like everything, now can you?) but this painting looked pretty cool!
Getting near the end! This painting by Sophie Steengracht made for a nice final of Big Art. Phew!