Handiedan: The Pin Up Queen

Congratulations on your solo show at Jonathan LeVine Projects! How different is this body of work than previously shown?

For this show I focused on my ongoing fascination of seeing Time as a dimension. For me, this created new space in exploration, technique and deeper meaning, and my way of experiencing how the viewer is able to watch and interact with my pieces. My new work also has different color schemes, for example; the red coloured pieces and combining different structural techniques.

Also, this show is emotionally my most personal show to date. 

How do you choose your subject matter? 

When starting a new design I have a strong atmosphere or symbolic meaning within the sensual image in mind that I try to reach while creating each piece.

Symbols are very important to me and teach you a lot about life. They tell the story of life and elaborate hidden stories that can’t be explained in a literal sense. A recent example of symbols that are strong subjects in my new work are the skull, the butterfly and the golden ratio.  

They refer to rebirth, growth, transformation, the eternal motion of life, energy, time, everything is (part of) the overall piece.

What draws you to the pin up images? To me, your work is very sensual but not in your face overly erotic. I just love looking at those women! 

I like to use the classical pin-up because of the high cultural value and they exhibit a tasteful response to female sexuality. I like how the sensual female form can symbolize both soft and strong, radiates both power and vulnerability. An origin of softness and growth, a purity, sexuality of beauty and decay. They become muses. The women represent everything, everybody, different forms of energy. So they also represent me in a way, my life, or maybe an imaginary person. 

Your work has such depth to it. Being that most of your work is comprised of mixed media, could you walk us through your process?

I like to use the classical pin-up because of the high cultural value and they exhibit a tasteful response to female sexuality. I like how the sensual female form can symbolize both soft and strong, radiates both power and vulnerability. An origin of softness and growth, a purity, sexuality of beauty and decay. They become muses. The women represent everything, everybody, different forms of energy. So they also represent me in a way, my life, or maybe an imaginary person.

Can you give us an idea of how much work is involved in each piece? I can only imagine that each piece takes countless hours of work. 

There are two phases in creating my collages. My creations are a complex layered ‘cut and paste’ mixture of both digitally and hand cut collages and found material. The first phase is the digital collage and manipulation of the found ephemera and imagery by computer. I like to combine classic pin-up body parts and my pen drawn characters over a backdrop of baroque and Victorian designs. This digital design is the basis for a series of hand cut collages. The second phase: Re-building the basic design by multiple printing and ‘weaving’ of extra ephemera with multiple paper layers. These could be culled from international currencies and stamps, antique sheet music ornaments, playing cards, cigar bands, Asian newspapers, whatever fits. Collaging till the artwork stands out in a relief of paper layers, almost three-dimensional. Then adding some final touches through sketching and doodling on the piece and finally a carefully selected ornamental frame "mostly antique", that becomes part of the artwork itself.

Which medium is your preference of choice? I know you are trained in pen drawings, both digital and hand collage, murals, etc.

My most favourite experience is the combination of both creating original collages and large wheat pasted murals.

The quiet focus of working for months by myself in my studio creating art for a show. The fast and energetic focus while creating a wheat past mural in one week, with a lot of direct  interaction with your audience and the project team gives a lot of energy. Either way of working gives a new and different energy and the possibility to re-focus. I think combining results for me is a good way to grow, learn and develop my art.

Working on my pen drawings is a personal proces that calms my mind, so I will never stop doing this. What is next for you after your solo show? 

I will be working on new mural projects, a selection of group shows and I'd like to spend time to develop the VR Handiedan universe. This gives me so much energy and I am super excited to explore the boundaries of this new technique and looking forward to sharing much more with you! Where can our readers learn more about you and your work? At my website handiedan.com and Social Media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @handiedan



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