Why Rafael de Cárdenas Collects Art
Image rights: Lauren Coleman
Informed by his background in architecture and driven by a fascination with antiquity, Nick van Woert claims to “hijack” the art historical past to create his striking, wry sculptures. A strong sense of history—both natural and human—unites his prolific output. He cites Vitruvius, the early Roman architect who was inspired by nature, as a significant influence. Like an urban archeologist, van Woert combs through the convenience stores, factories, and dumpsters in Brooklyn to source materials for his sculptures, which he then re-presents in elegant works like Home and Garden (2011). In this work, van Woert fills transparent rectangular containers with a colorful assortment of consumer and industrial products—including Kool-Aid, a Dunkin Donuts billboard, salt, and hair gel—and stacks the containers to form two perpendicular walls that look like exposed geological strata.
American, b. 1979, Reno, Nevada, based in Brooklyn, New York