June 22 until August 5, 2007
From poetry to animation, from graphics to 3D work, from textile and wallpaper to paintings, graphic artist Geoff McFetridge has complete control over these widely divergent disciplines. In the past ten years, Los Angeles-based McFetridge has created in his free work and in his commissions a unique imagery, which is detailed and abstract at the same time. Full of hands and teeth, objects and animals, skaters and bikers.
“As a graphic artist, you’re sort of swimming in a void. It’s really simple to make cool stuff, there’s so much cool stuff going round day in day out that it’s getting boring.”
Geoff McFetridge sees himself as a merchant in icons. “Take the Yeti. I’ve made dozens of them over the years. In fact, I have reduced the bigfoot to virtually nothing. Even so, no matter how I keep reducing the image, it remains recognizable. That’s how I attract people; then I give it all a twist and start playing the perception game.
Born in Canada, but trained at the California Institute of the Arts, McFetridge won public acclaim as a designer when he was still a student. For two years, he was art director of the famous underground Beastie Boys magazine Grand Royal. Since then he has worked for numerous clients ranging from Nike, Pepsi, and Stüssy to Burton, Girl and 2K/Gingham. He made clips for Plaid, Simian, and recently also for The Whitest Boy Alive, and he created film title sequences for The Virgin Suicides and Adaptation. He is one of the Beautiful Losers, and makes solo exhibitions from Los Angeles to Paris and from London to Tokyo. ‘Bend the Void. The Space between Yeah and Yes’ is his first large solo exhibition in the Netherlands.
While McFetridge’s work sometimes literally shows its sharp edges, it is equally often imbued with a keen sense of humour. “Humour is the most solid base to build on. Humour travels fast and without effort. I take pleasure in making people smile about a logo.” For his commissions as well as for his free art, McFetridge draws inspiration from the huge stack of sketchbooks he collected over the years. “As a designer, you produce so much waste material. At least ten rough sketches precede every design. It’s such a waste to throw these away. I keep them all, and from time to time, I pick out a word of a line of approach from them, which inspires me into making something new. That’s how you can build a pathway for your own brain.”