The Irresistible Charm of Handiedan‘s Artistic
The art of Dutch artist Handiedan involves a complex cut and paste mixture of digital and highly detailed sculptural hand cut collages, complimented by conscientiously collected antique ornamental frames.
Handiedan’s accomplished and refined collage technique allows her for an artistic journey through past, present and future. The result is an almost kaleidoscopical visual exploration whose discoveries are sometimes immediately visible and sometimes hidden in plain sight.
Deeply influenced by scientific and spiritual interests – from Quantum Physics, Cosmology and Numerology to Sacred Geometries, Metaphysics and Eastern Philosophies – her art embraces the various forms of vital energy endlessly permeating the universe and mirrors the eternal motion of life in its kaleidoscopic manifestations.
Recently Handiedan has focused on the Fourth dimension of spacetime with her past solo exhibition ‘The Fourth Dimension: TIME’ at Jonathan LeVine Projects (14 October – 11 November 2017) as a privileged standpoint from where this perpetual and ever changing flow can be deeply perceived as a continuum.
Protagonists of the works are the iconic pin-ups clearly inspired by the burlesque universe. The artist digitally composes their bodies by assembling anatomical parts of different pre-existing pin-up images from the 1920-1940s, transforming them into images reminiscent of the Neo-Classical and Victorian ages, the Parisian Belle Époque, up to the 1940’s and Post-War sexy imagery.
With their joyfully sexual poses they celebrate the universal power of sensual love as one aspect of the energy of life. With luscious liveliness their forms bend in and out the background to personify Handiedan’s investigation in femininity. They stand for the Lover and the Mother, embodying sexual freeing and tender love, strength and vulnerability.
At once mistresses and goddesses, these creatures are endowed with a symbolic power that can be traced down to the archetype of Mother Earth (or Mother Nature) shared by all ancient cultures. Nature perpetuates the circle of life as she nurtures the seeds that receives and gives them new life through stages of change, decay and renewal and according to her laws birth, life and death are just transitory moments of a constant vital flow of energy.
Handiedan is always inspired by the the Golden Ratio, also known as divine proportion, whose presence in all realms from quantum levels to the eternal motion of planets and galaxies is proof of a universal law connecting everything. The pin-ups inhabit a visual world filled with Fibonacci spirals, fractal patterns, planetary charts and the sacred geometric form of the Flower of Life. The bodies and their backdrops are connected through these lines and shapes that either scientifically or symbolically represent the universal harmony ruling nature and life.
The artist makes use of recurrent images that refer to this principle, like the skull commonly used in history of art as a strong visual reminder of the cycle of life and death. In many pieces the presence of a butterfly shape serves as living proof of the natural process of transformation and evolution into a magical even if short-lived creature of beauty.
The background also incorporates ornamental details like old currencies, stamps, music sheets, share certificates, science maps, playing cards and cigar bands, that Handiedan collected from her travels around the world. Each element is filled with hidden personal meanings connected with private events in the life of the artist, while the vintage aspect suggests the items’ hidden stories over time and space, adding to their decorative elegance an evocative power that works both on a personal level and from a cultural point of view.
The pen drawings and doodles ‘tattooed’ on the bodies and in the background stand for Handiedan’s personal involvement in this energy flow. The cartoon-like character of Amėlie peeking out in each work is her alter ego: optimistic and innocent, odd, playful and always curious. Together with the little characters from old video games, her cute presence counter-balances with her simple cheerfulness the complexities of other symbolic references in the works.
Handiedan gathers all those visual fragments that trigger her own personal associations and digitally combines them on the computer following a fast-paced intuitive drive. Once the composition is ready, the creative process shifts into a more meditative slow-paced stage as she assembles the printed layers of paper with refined craftsmanship to form the hand-made piece.
Each detail is printed on multiple sheets of paper that are hand cut with masterful precision and carefully pasted layer upon layer until it reaches a sculpted quality. During the assembling stage the found collage material is weaved through the layers and pasted over both the background surface and the three-dimensional parts with meticulous patience and care. As a result, each work carrie
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