Raymond Lemstra

Amsterdam, Netherlands

In childhood, one encounters and experiences many things for the first time. Through curiosity and imagination, these moments are lifted to almost magical heights. As you get older, new impressions become more scarce and it’s a rare experience to be surprised by anything. I try to bring back the sense of wonder we remember from being a child, bridging the young and mature, by creating a contained fantasy world populated by my characters.

With my work I like to refer to the illustrative nature of primitive drawings and sculptures. What I find interesting about these is the distortion as a result of selective emphasis; parts of interest are emphasized, unimportant parts reduced or left out. For characters this means they come out big headed, where focus is on the face and the body is trimmed to its essential properties. I deliberately apply this primitive logic as a method. But I don’t apply it equally to all aspects of my work. Instead, I choose to use a very mature, highly labour-some technique for the execution of my work. This contrast, between the naive and sophisticated, gives the work a somewhat awkward taste. A clash of intent, simultaneously assuming simplicity and complexity, randomness and reason, flaws and perfection. The purpose of which is to inspire a sense of joy and discovery.

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