Simply Pimply

Well spotted: Artist Martijn Sandberg sees decorative potential in the most unlikely of sources, covering a school’s pavilion wall in Drachten with blobby point relief.

‘Sleep all day, party all night, forever young, never grow old.‘ What sounds like the rhymeless refrain of an unoriginal pop song, is part of an artwork in a school in the northern Dutch town of Drachten.
Artist Martijn Sandberg had a pretty large canvas at his disposal for this work: the 6,50 by 49 metre outer wall of a kidney-shaped, two-level building. The blobby pavillion stands on a roofed-over square that connects two wings of the school building and houses the media library, reception desk and cafeteria counter.
Sandberg, who calls his works ‘image messages‘, covered the grey skin of the pavilion with a point relief made of hemispheres that spell out the text line.
“Many people say that it reminds them of Braille. But to be honest, I wasn’t thinking of that at all. I was thinking of pimply teenager skin.“ According to Sandberg, his text is an ode to eternal youth. “I like slogans like that. They are simple, everyone knows them, but in a certain context that’s exactly what can make them specific and meaningful.“

The text lines are applied according to an alternating pattern so that every perspective offers a view of the entire text. But you have to concentrate a bit in order to decipher the light-grey typography on light-grey background. “That’s deliberate,“ Sandberg explains. “You have to learn how to read all over again. It introduces a time factor into the work. It also gives it a certain subtlety. Even though it’s so large, you can ignore it if you like.“

Article: Simply Pimply
Author: Anneke Bokern
Magazine: Frame, issue no. 46, Sep/ Oct 2005
Publisher: Frame, Amsterdam
Copyright © 2005 Anneke Bokern & Frame Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

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