The Dutch artistMonique Goossens states that she has always been fascinated with materials and the sensation it would give her. Goossens also tells us how she regularly had a very physical, tactile way of observing things. The artist studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and Academy Artemis in Amsterdam.
After her study, she went on to explore her fascination, knowingly testing the limits that are generally accepted. She continues her work to touch these boundaries with materials of which some of us might get an uncomfortable feeling. By purposely fabricating contrast instead of looking for a comparison there will be an outcome of something unexpected. It’s just like life where you need the lows to be able to feel the highs, as life without a curve will just turn into a dull era. She did explain that her work is not meant to be provocative, but we were very curious to know more about her fascination, so we reached out to get some answers.
What does it mean to you to be a visual storyteller using non-confirmative materials?
My work consists of research into alienation and materials by using both in contrasting ways, mostly creating some kind of friction. Therefore, I am always looking for interesting and unusual materials which results in pushing some boundaries along the way. I am aware of certain limits, however, I am very free and open-minded, which is why I don’t experience these limits myself. As I am not easily terrified, repulsed, or weirded out, I find my curiosity usually being raised instead of some kind of rejection. This mostly results in working with non-conventionals ideas like nudity or dead animals, which is the reason people sometimes find my work edgy or provocative.
Even though you work on a lot of different kinds of projects, what would you describe as your signature style?
My work contains art photography and art typography, inspired by nature, unusual materials, and tactility. I am always looking for contrasts and alienation, aesthetically pleasing characteristics, and edginess. Much of my work is about layering, skin, and the sensation of the material on the skin. Even though you don’t always see skin in my work, this is the source of my inspiration.
Can you tell a little more about the process of developing your own style?
I have always worked very intuitively, with no concrete goals in mind. The essence however always is material and alienation. It was actually a few years ago that I realized that these are the fundamental parts that run through my work as a thread. I discovered that a lot of my work is directly or indirectly related to skin and I became aware that I have very clear and tactile fascinations. That is how I created my latest work: “The feeling on my skin“. This series is all about my fascination with tactility and the human body; from squeezing, bulging, smooth and slimy, to concealing and revealing. Because I love materials and how they feel on my skin I used various materials for this work, each photo contains one material and a tactile sensual fascination.
Due to the current circumstances (COVID19), many artists are in some way limited in their work. How do you experience this?
Until now there has been no limitation as I can continue with my free work. In addition, I teach at Artemis Academy in Amsterdam, e.g. visual communication, trend forecasting, and material styling. My teaching now continues online. The only thing that I experience as a limitation is that there are no exhibitions. The exhibition ‘Hair, textures of belonging‘ in Canterbury with my hair typography was unfortunately stopped within three weeks.
Have these limitations influenced or inspired your work?
I can’t say my work is affected, I’m just continuing as usual. Of course, social life is much quieter, but it also gives a certain sense of peace.
Would you like to work on some kind of collaboration and with whom would that be?
I am always open to ideas and inspiration from others, as I am up for anything. Although mostly I don’t really work with others, I prefer to work alone because this way I can stay closest to my own feelings and fascinations.
Do you have any projects you are working on or planning for 2020, that you would like to share with us?
Certainly, I am currently working on two typography projects, but I will also continue with the series ‘The feeling on my skin’. In the coming time, I will present a new art typography, made of coral that looks edible. It’s too early to say anything about other work, but I do have a lot of ideas and projects on the shelf, which is a blessing. I live very much in the now, as I am enjoying little things and looking no further than the projects I’m currently working on. But, as said before there is no shortage of ideas, as I still have many concepts for surprising work!
We are looking forward to seeing more of the surprising work that Goossens has to offer, for more take a look at the links below.