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Takeover #199 Timo van Grinsven

Timo van Grinsven: Instagram / Website

#199 (28/03 - 01/04, 2022) written by Esther van Zoelen

Timo van Grinsven is in quarantine when I speak with him on Teams. He calls himself someone who has to make – a maker – which shows in the itch he feels to use machines and renovate parts of his house now that he’s stuck there. After having graduated from graphic school, he decided to study art at AKV St. Joost Den Bosch. Timo finds that for art there always should be certain rules the maker works with. For example getting to know the history of a medium or subject. His circling thoughts are put in place by making objects, drawings and paintings, which hint to his stream of thinking and which are all connected with each other.

“Drawing is the most honest medium to me, because unlike sculpting and painting you cannot really cheat. Drawing is the closest to an idea.”

Timo’s works are not dominated by one specific medium, but instead exist out of assemblages of different materials combined in an installation or sculpture. His work is constantly changing and he works on several things at the same time, in which the use of signs keeps coming back. Timo notes that most symbols and images have a certain shelf life, something that has to do with the feeling of the age. On the other hand art can also survive time and still have value, like minimalist art or the symbol of the endless column from Brancusi. For Timo language can also become a symbol. On a piece of paper, he draws me the letter U (in Dutch also a formal term for ‘you’) and talks about how he made an object of it in the form of an empty bucket; referring to how a person can only be filled by the other. Timo likes to approach his work through language, sometimes using irony towards himself as a maker, as with the flag he made which says ‘Wow, nobody cares !!!’. This irony is an example of a naïve look he wishes to have towards the world. To just look honestly and not understand. Images can also consist of numbers in the form of a sculpture. Timo sculpted two fours and hung an eight on it. The sculpture is gold plated to signify the number’s value. The numbers now are not just three individual numbers anymore but cling together as one image as well, forming a new kind of value.    

“I have made images and drawings of the desire for the evolution of a number. Numbers don’t change often and I thought they needed an evolution to make them more personal. They always need something else: five apples, five houses. The number five is only a suggestion of something that is multiplied by five. Words have a clear evolution, but numbers are more magical. I would want to know how they grow into another number. That it is a nearly-eight or a nearly-seven. And then I started looking at what numbers are in a sculptural sense.”  The 448 sculpture I described was later taped to a corner of an exhibition space, conflicting with the value the gold color implies it has. Another work in that space – or I should say beneath – was a sculpture underneath the floor that could only be seen when looking through a hole in the wooden ground. Timo likes to play with different ways of presentation like this.

He often assembles different materials and fragments he collected in his studio. A place with specific objects, which sometimes lay there for years before getting a place inside a work. He names his studio a conducting coincidence; everything is in place to be able to create.  

“I want to create coincidence, which cannot be created and thus I let things lie around in my studio and collect them. They are very specific, often parts that I create out of for example ceramic. They can lie around a while before finding its place with another material. Some things just become nothing, but when you have many things, you can make and gather a lot. If you don’t have anything, you can only make up things. I think that when I work in that way, I will not get the images I want to have.”

Timo has shown his work a lot in Belgium. Through Rizoom he would –as a Dutch artist -like to expand his scope in the Netherlands as well. There will be a selection of his most essential works and also his experiences in curating an exhibition. This he finds exciting, because he can let go of his own work and compose work of others in such a way that they are put in the right places. But for now, his own work will be this takeover’s main focus, entailing much more than fours and eights. 

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