Born in Schiedam, 1974, NL
Lives and works in Brielle, NL
Studied sculpture at The Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam (1994-1998)
ARTIST’ S STATEMENT
Eelke van Willegen creates art of great simplicity. Artless, natural, still and without further ado. The artist is a surfer. Surfing is fun. But surfing is also about reaching an inner tranquility. Reading the wave. Knowing the water. The flight, a perfect union of body, water, wind and sky. Surfing, plain and simple. But appearances may be deceiving; on closer inspection his work proves to be complex and carefully thought-out. Form is guided by action.
Like the ocean-floor molds the wave and shapes it according to the tides. Eelke captures the visible world in either a simple drawing or a three-dimensional work of art. Powerful essentials. Neither easily accomplished, nor easily spot.
The sculptures originated from a wish to translate the drawings into three-dimensional works of art. But they soon claimed their own forceful space. Cutting, grinding, welding and casting became the new motion. Reading the form, knowing the material. The journey, a union of body, raw material, energy and mass. Working with the raw material instead of using it. The viewer will have to read the work, like the surfer reads the water. But, for anyone who takes the trouble to look carefully, there will be much to see. It’s as simple as that.
Not easy, yet very forceful. And the sea, the sea…
Excellent abstract geometric sculptures in Bronze, Stainless steel or Steel by an artist where portraits are more of a tradition. All the standards required to make a good sculpture are combined in Eelke Van Willegen works: circulation of the light, negative space, the way the parts responds to each other, balance of the geometrics forms. Everything is here in Van Willegen’s works.
Besides, you should notice the great drawings on paper. Like most of the time when sculptors are good you have a bunch of excellent works on paper. In Van Willegen’s hands a simple line can make different layers like below. BCh