Wire Wall Murals by Bart Soutendijk

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Why Wire?
by Bart Soutendijk

At first, wire seemed like a really great way to make large drawings on the wall without stretching yards of canvas or painting and framing big plywood panels. Then came the shadows and the way the wire bent – soft, not hard – and the drawings took on a personality. It’s that style – and wire is an integral part of it – that I’ve been growing for the past thirty years.

I work to simplify an image with my art.. Making a line drawing of an object is like undressing it. I ask myself: “What is it about this image that’s unique.” Then I strip away the lines that aren’t required to convey that “uniqueness.” I use line to capture the feel of the image, and wire emphasizes that line.

The final work — after I compose the drawing and make a wire model — is a free-hanging sculpture made of painted steel rod. No colors. No tones. No paper. No frame. No line-thickness fluctuation. Just a line drawing in space. You can’t get simpler than that.

Wire is light and easy to install and the drawings don’t fade in the sun. Wire is also real easy to clean and, if you need it to go with your decor, you can paint it any color you want without changing the image.

I like to think of the art as Green Sculpture because I don't use up paper or canvas or wood or metal frames. The final piece is more than 90% space.

I see myself basically as an image collector. I most often work from photographs that I’ve taken of subjects that I find interesting. Wire teaches me to capture the feeling I get from the image in as few lines as possible.

People viewing the art, tell me how amazed they are at how soft the wire looks. That softness is partially because I make the bends by hand and the work is mostly figurative. Also because my medium is wire, the art is more affordable. My work is known for its simplicity, fluidity and magical nature. One reviewer wrote that the sculptures play with design and shadow. If you need to give my art a name, you might call it “condensed figurative”. I would like to be seen as an innovative artist because I create traditional representational images in a contemporary medium.

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