When curator Yasha Young approached me with the question if I wanted to make a large scale collage, my first thought was ‘how?’ It had never been done for a reason. Which materials and techniques are suitable, how do you determine the right proportions and how do you place the surfaces. Where was I supposed to start?
Back to March 2020. The Netherlands went into total lockdown for the first time. Shops, public places and schools closed down. Life came to a standstill. In the midst of the chaos of COVID-19, I found a pace and balance that boosted my creativity. While I was helping my kids to glue paper collages, the idea for DOES collages arose.
One year and 22 collages later, including a first exhibition of my collages in Paris’ Molitor, I was now faced with a challenge that is absolutely next level. A collage of 4 x 4 meters. Although I didn’t think it was possible at first, my wife Sanne convinced me to take the plunge. As soon as I opened up to it, the image of what the collage could become started to form in my head. From experience I know that if I can visualize something, then I can make it happen. And voilà, that’s the story of how I started the biggest graffiti-style collage ever.
In my studio I first made a prototype of 30 cm x 30 cm, completely to scale. I got in contact with G.F. Smith’s paper brands Colorplan and Gmund who sponsored the paper for this project. When all preparations were finalized, I traveled to Munich. There, in the lobby of an office building in the heart of Munich, I started cutting paper on the floor and preparing the collage for five long days. Greatly appreciated artist Arik helped me with cutting the paper on site. People in suits passed by most likely thinking: what are those guys doing?
When I finally was able to start assembling the collage, the pieces of the puzzle came together. And fell apart. On the last day, the glue came off on a piece, luckily I managed to fix it. although we had a few setbacks, what I hoped for became reality. I am not easily pleased with a result, perfectionist as I am. But with this piece, the result is better than I had hoped for. It is full of energy, power, color and hope. While it is made of pieces of paper, it has my signature allover and its roots in graffiti. I am thrilled with the result and the fact that I got it done. There is always a way.
Yasha Young about Voilà: “While DOES’ usual work is smaller works on paper, very intricate and detailed graffiti origamis or paper sculptures, it is quite exciting to see this translate to such a huge format without losing the energy and movement of the piece. It hasn’t been done in this way, in this size to my knowledge and that is what excites me.”
Watch the full project video here:
‘Voila’ will be exhibited in the lobby of Poellath in Munich till October.
Hofstatt 1 (Eingang: Färbergraben 16)