For this exhibition, Klein Editions selected six artworks taken from Roberto Voorbij’s series of ‘Artist Portraits’. Between Artist & Art takes inspiration from a trend started by Andy Warhol and Joseph Beyus, whereby the artist’s performance, words, and lifestyle became as important as the art itself. Similarly, Voorbij’s digital collages portray the six artists (Frida Kahlo, Kurt Schwitters, Vincent Van Gogh, Gustav Courbet, Gustav Klimt, and Paul Klee) as actual works of art by replacing their faces with their most significant pieces of work. In doing so, Voorbij highlights the metamorphosis that occurs of an artist into their artwork, and vice versa.
The works also raise questions of impermanence. What is left of us once we leave this world? In the case of these six artists, considering their success has only grown after their death, it would be fair to assume what is left of them is their work. This assumption may not be correct for those who personally knew them, but it’s definitely true for the wide followers of their work and the general public who knows of them through popular culture.
In addition, through his Artist Portraits, Voorbij makes an important connection between the artists’ legacy and an urge for immortality, drawing attention to the anxiety caused by feelings of impermanence. Did these artists intend for their work to live forever because they knew they wouldn’t? It’s possible.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Roberto Voorbij is an interdisciplinary artist working with ‘ready made’ materials as well as with 3D Software, video, and digital collage. He currently lives and works in Amsterdam. Voorbij holds a bachelor degree in Visual arts and Art History from the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and has attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he took classes from a.o. Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle during the late 1990s. Nominated for the ‘Prince Bernhard Fund’ and ‘Piet Bakker Prize’ for his graduation exhibition (video piece ‘Everyday’) and more recently for the ‘Artist in Action Prize’.