Suzanne Jongmans’ latest work recycles the Renaissance in a project where plastic is the main protagonist.
In ‘Mind Over Matter’, Dutch artist Suzanne Jongmans looks at environmental issues through a gauzy renaissance veil made of plastic. Channeling the old masters, these painterly photographs feature characters wearing intricate costumes crafted from waste materials.
Using recycled plastics, old blankets and discarded packaging, Jongmans uses her skills as a designer to make medieval costumes for her portrait subjects. “The idea of making something out of nothing changes our look on reality”, she explains. “A piece of plastic with text printed on it, used for packing a coffee machine or television, can resemble a piece of silk.
And the lid of a can of tomato puree can look like a ring”. The ring in question is worn in Jongmans’ ‘Portrait of a Woman’ (2012), created in mimesis of Rogier van der Weyden’s famed ‘Portrait of a Lady’ (1460). Jongmans also draws inspiration from painters like Holbein, Jan van Eyck, and Rembrandt—the masters whose detailed brush strokes she seeks to emulate in her work. “When you look at the old masters, you can really see the time that is put into the paintings,” she explains. “And that fits with the method I have developed.”
A piece of plastic with text printed on it, used for packing a coffee machine or television, can resemblea piece of silk. And the lid of a can of tomato puree can look like a ring”