Dutch artist Diederick Kraaijeveld constructs truly unique photo-realistic collages from salvaged wood. His images are icons plucked from the contemporary Diaspora: Chuck Taylor Converses, a Magnum .44, a roll of dollar bills, a pack of cigarettes, a VW van.
Kraaijeveld’s pieces have all been beautifully created from genuine, coloured vintage wood that the artist himself collects as he travels the globe: from abandoned buildings in the Mojave Desert to 16th century Dutch mansion floors. Given that a single work can require over a hundred pieces of different wood, this process is as vital and impactful as the actual assemblage of the found materials.
Though the pieces sometimes burst with colour, Kraaijeveld doesn’t use a drop of paint himself. He chooses, instead, to preserve the original colour and hue, allowing the individual layers to form their own unique combinations. These striking arrangements, of untouched and irregular wood surfaces, allow their history to shine through. From afar, the work retains its realism; up close, the artist’s wizardry is revealed. It is close up that one can see the sheer amount of work and precision involved.
It is his goal to create luminous and desirable icons out of material that the world has discarded. As he points out, his works are built out of “material that people have thrown away because they deemed it worthless”. It is this kind of flat-lined irony and playfulness that permeates his work. His work is an examination of the interplay between pop culture and culture as a whole, presented in a wholly unique and beautiful manner.
Every year Kraaijeveld is doing 'special projects', collecting wood in a faraway land and creating artworks over there. This year, in 2015, he embarks on a very special adventure: he will float down the Chattahoochee river on a 'Pirate Raft', a raft built from found materials, from Seale, AL to the Gulf of Mexico, a 200 miles plus journey. He will be accompanied by Dutch and American artist-friends....