Artist’s statement

Art van Triest

Central to my work is the human tendency to fight our fundamental fear and insecurity with an order, a system. I see this as a coping mechanism: an attempt to get a grip on the world around us, which stems from a deep need for control, or the illusion of control.
I see this tendency to frame reality in a system on various levels. It is anchored in our thinking: we divide the world around us into categories and use rational constructs to define differences and make connections. This also shapes our world in a concrete sense: from spreadsheets to urban planning and agriculture or architecture.

My work is a visual investigation, in which I question how this frame relates to the physical reality of the world around us. I see the grid as too straightforward a way of relating to reality. With my work I want to offer a visual counterbalance to the simplification and standardization of our environment and way of thinking. I would like to strive for a more realistic positioning of man, in which we can relate to reality in a more complete way.

“Art van Triest questions the linearity of our ideal of manufacturability. As if we can (know) and put everything into boxes. The rational, geometrically determined structure of the grid is the ultimate representative of it for him. (…) it can be found in many subtle and less subtle variations worldwide in city plans and in architecture. For Van Triest, the grid and thus rational, linear thinking is not innocent.”

Architectural historian Astrid Aarsen on solo exhibition Grids in Kunstenlab, 2020.