Six questions for
Timo van Grinsven

Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Timo van Grinsven.

Artist Timo van Grinsven
Lives in Antwerp, Belgium

How do you describe your own art practice?

The works I make are assemblages consisting of a variety of materials, combined to make tactile installations, according to a strong idiosyncratic logic. The most important part of this logic is the search to find the point where the probable becomes the improbable. The works created are (1:1) working models for themselves. While I am working, my thoughts move between image and text. Therefore, language plays a big role in reflecting on the subconscious creative process where not all the questions posed have to be answered. Because of its transient character, the logic is not bound to the limits of any medium. Installations, sculptures, paintings and drawings; everything is connected. In my atelier I work on several different pieces at the same time, during which component parts may move from one piece to another to find their place within a process of controlled coincidence. The result is a collection of works bearing the traces of an underlying dialogue, a storyline that remains veiled.

What was your first experience with art?

During my childhood my parents took me to these kind of museums with a theme instead of art. They were so much fun! My experience with art came a bit late. Actually during my study: Graphic Design. Where I followed a class about Contemporary Art. The thing I can recall the best is a show of Paul McCarthy that I saw twelve years ago in the Van Abbemuseum. It hit me in the face! At that time it was dirty, strange and ugly. But it was good, and that was the thing I really didn’t get.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Philosophy, art and poetry. Paul Valéry wrote about these three things. I love his view on art. I came across a book about his thoughts while getting lost in a little library during my study. Moving to Belgium, I wanted to take the book with me, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Only one print run and it was sold out. After 6 years I found it second hand. A nice thing is that somebody wrote in it on the last page that is glued to the back of the book (so it is not readable). I guess Valéry would have liked this. The book is called “de macht van de afwezigheid”.

What do you need in order to create your work?

Luck and Logic.

What are you working on at the moment?

Next to making work and doing exhibitions, I am thinking about the idea to ask a painter to paint my atelier. I will pay him or her and present it as my work. I am also busy with a video work together with Karina Beumer. This work will be the third part of a triptych with the title: ‘We have to think of something else’.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

A year ago I saw a drawing (Willenskurven 1912) of Hyacinth Freiherr von Wieser in the Prinzhorn collection in Heidelberg. It was shortly after I made a series of eight drawings that would show a landscape of thoughts. The aesthetic similarities and simple character of Freiherr von Wieser’s work really surprised me. The forms in the drawing start of very simple and become more complex. The drawing looks like a very honest spiritual science. One that comes with a warning: “Vorsicht für andere Gefährlich zu betrachten”. This warning is present because of the effect the forms can have on someones will.

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