Jaco van der Vaart - Lives and works in Delft, the Netherlands
2016 - Curator at Art Centre Kadmium Delft
2004 - Artist at Pulchri Studio The Hague
1995 - 98 Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam
1993 - 95 Secondary teacher training handicrafts Rotterdam
About the sculptures
There used to be a time in which everything seemed to be related. Science, Religion, Magic, and Art were seamlessly integrated. Ever since the Enlightenment, we have split up reality in increasingly elaborated disciplines. Nowadays, there are specialties like cardiology besides neurosurgery, painting next to video arts.
There are advantages in categorizing the world in this manner. It's a way to partly control the chaos. However, at the same time you lose something too. The wonderful imagines of the artist Jaco van der Vaart from Delft show us that reality is not as neatly organised and static as our created classification likes us too believe. Just the opposite. His poetic sculptures express a continual movement, a transformation, and show everything is connected in a natural way.
Van der Vaart's motivation for his sculptures has always been the human body besides our intellectual powers. And from 2010 onwards, the topic change, transformation, has been added. In all his sculptures we recognize parts of our world; brains, hands, a house, medical instruments. By means of the style Van der Vaart has presented these fragments, new connections are being made. In for example 'Athanor', he shaped an oven like the ones used by Alchemists in past centuries during their search for the Philosopher's stone; a substance which could turn common metals into gold. From this oven, Van der Vaart lets develop 'branches'. Branches like those found everywhere in humans and nature which have the perfect dimensions. This is how he joins universally known shapes to the alchemist's primal materials.
With his considered choice of materials, Van der Vaart stresses the newly found connections. It's remarkable how close he generally remains to the literal intension of the materials. He used sugar in 'First Governor' because the heart needs energy to pump and used rubber for 'The Mother' as this material has the same feel to the touch as a mother's breast. It barely needs an explanation.
The sculptures of Van der Vaart remind us intuitively how beautiful and mysterious life is: progressively transforming, full of unexpected bonds, intangible. In spite of all our knowledge and categorizing.
Text by Sandra Spijkerman
Translated by Jeanette Kreuger