Rutger de Vries
Born Zwolle (NL), 1987
Nationality NL
'Subtractive Additive', 2017 'Subtractive Additive', 2017

Bombing in graffiti-terms is the act of writing a tag (preferably very visible) in public spaces with a spray can. These signatures are simultaneously a gesture of strong authorship and anonymity, situated in-between destruction and adornment. Rutger de Vries, with roots in the graffiti scene, in search for a new platform for painting and alternative exhibition formats, bombs the exhibition space with explosions of paint. Appropriating graffiti techniques, the large scale installations question authorship by letting meticulously self-engineered tools decide which composition, shape and intensity the paintings and drawings will take. Traces of these automated painting processes can often still be found in the spaces they occupy, and remind the viewer of the formally domestic use of these adapted machines, such as a fire extinguisher and garden sprinklers. The intensity, scale, sculptural and visual power of de Vries’ installations echo the urgency which is integral to the uncompromising attitude of graffiti writers, while the impact of these bombings in the exhibition space reverberate the restlessness of adolescent energy.