Artist Statement

I am fascinated by controversy, by the juxtaposition of opposites. Whether from the perspective of historical events or from the perspective of the materials used, I aim to shed light on some aspect of seemingly contradictory things. Is this event or situation bad or good or could it be both? Does this represent a victim or an aggressor or could it be both? Can this be both light and heavy? Fragile and strong?

Glass is a material that demonstrates the concept of controversy itself. It can be heavy and strong but also fragile, light, and transparent. A perfect material for expressing controverses, so I use it extensively in executing my ideas. As the son of a glazier, I grew up playing with glass and have learned how to use it in ways not commonly seen. In terms of techniques, I don’t limit myself to any one or more methods. Sometimes I use complicated techniques and other times I use hardly any technique at all. In the end, it’s all driven by the concept and how best to express it.

Art should make people think, should motivate them, or touch them in some way. That’s why art doesn’t have to be beautiful … it can be, but not necessarily. With controverses, there’s some influence from the outside that you have to react to, you have to think about, come up with solutions, be creative. I want to stimulate people to see the world from various sides, to think outside the box, and to question.

JanHein van Stiphout