Marieke Matthijs (born in the Netherlands, mother of 2 girls) studied Fashion- and Textile design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and creative communications in Rotterdam. She is an interdisciplinary visual artist who experiments with techniques and materials. Her fascination for textures, structures and patterns stems from her lifelong search for esthetics in ordinary daily life. She loves to play with her attraction to “the strange” and the comfort that comes with order and “the familiar”. She was recently selected as one of the talents at Rotterdam Photo festival.
For the past years I focused on sculpting photo-prints; I call them photo-sculptures. Before the digital era, a photograph was often a cherished momento, a tangible richness. We took good care of the photos, made sure they did not get wet, fold or tear. Years ago, I felt a desire to give that treasured status back to photographs. Damaging photo prints was a starting point. This quest led to the discovery that hot oil affects printed photographs in an interesting manner. Manipulating photos with hot oil has been a focus point since then. I spent years researching and experimenting with hot oil. There are a lot of factors that will change the outcome; photo materials, photo-development techniques, pre- and post-processing of the photograph and various manners of applying the hot oil (i.e. temperature, tools, timing). And then there is the search for the ultimate marriage of medium and subject. Each subject in a photograph needs a different approach. So, with every photo I decide on the best photo-printing technique, tools, temperature, and so on, in order to get the esthetic result that pleases me. Irrespective of the choices, the technique adds physical depth to an otherwise flat photograph and elevates a reproducible photo into an artwork.
The basis for recent works has been flowers frozen in water and ink, acrylic paint or other substances. I like the symbolism of the extreme contrast of temperature. My work depicts the range from freezing to frying, which makes it feel like an all-inclusive tableau of life.