Woody van Amen, 1978
Woody van Amen (Eindhoven, NL, 1936), Rotterdam, NL
Woody van Amen left for New York City in 1961. It was during his two years as a New Yorker that he became acquainted with Pop Art, which was gathering steam as an artistic movement at the time. Back in the Netherlands, Van Amen translated his new impressions by incorporating Dutch brand names and images of consumer goods into his works of art. He later moved on to producing futuristic neon assemblages made up of all manner of objects found on the street such as neon lights, Perspex and even ice. Van Amen's own, unique style draws heavily on symbols from foreign cultures, which he sees as agents of change.
Mata Hari is a prime example of Van Amen's interest in the visual aspects of motion, light and reflection which have manifested themselves in his work ever since 1967. He uses a variety of materials to create a unique world with an often humorous undertone. In Mata Hari, Van Amen combines the impressions he gained during his travels to the Middle East and Switzerland. Van Amen has captured the distinctive form of the Matterhorn, a jagged mountain peak on the border between Switzerland and Italy, in a sandcastle. The bamboo frame gives the impression of a holiday snapshot. Photographs on each side portray two people engaged in a tug-of-war. They represent the many rock-climbers who attempt to conquer the Matterhorn.
Willem de Kooning Academy (at the time of Van Amen's education: Rotterdam Academy), Rotterdam, NL