The City of Rotterdam recently announced their nomination for prestigious Dolf Henkes Prijs, awarding local artists who are pushing the borders of contemporary art with their work. Daan Botlek, an artist we've featured in Juxtapoz was among 4 nominees for 2016. For the occasion Botlek wanted to introduce his work and concepts to an audience that doesn't usually following the urban art scene that he is primarely part of.
Photos by Sasha Bogojev
Though drawings, illustrations and even some sculptural pieces are included in the showcase, it's his effective large-scale wall paintings and interventions that brought him recognition. Almost always including a simple human figure as the central part of his work, Botlek often plays with perspective, dimension and proportions, cleverly involving the urban setting and space into his work. In this manner he created two large pieces for the exclusive show that opened at Tent in Rotterdam on the 15th of December. One is a wall mural depicting his characters building a chaotic bundle of large blue rocks and unidentified orange blocks. Using bright colors, sharp lines and a simple raster effect for shade effects, the well balanced piece is a playing with scale, gravity and geometry, which is very common in his work. The other large sculptural installation further push his concepts, allowing the images to enter inside the space it's created in. By assembling cut out panels and placing them on all walls, but also floor and ceiling, he plays with the volume of the space, stretching it beyond it's barriers. Using the entire room as a frame or even negative space for his creation, Botlek constructed a dynamic display that depicts an infinite movement of a single character or many of them. —Sasha Bogojev