clectic, visionary, multidisciplinary and a pop artist too, born in 1978, the Dutch designer Maarten Baas celebrates his fortieth birthday with a retrospective at the Design Museum in Gent, Belgium.
The exhibition Hide & Seek retraces his 15 year-long career: considered as one of the most talented and influential Dutch designers, Maarten Baas communicates with his vintage-inspired vintage style, yet hi-tech and cutting edge at the same time, and his frequent artistic contaminations.
Just look at Smoke, Maarten’s final project as a student at the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven in 2002: tables, chairs and home accessories that were carbonized with a single flame and given a clear resin finish, real everyday works of art (the special finish makes them usable).
Maarten Baas goes from limited-edition pieces to conceptual work, from architectural projects to theatre design, from performance art to video making. With a vaguely despotic spirit and an absolute, timeless style, he interprets the passing of time (the Real Time series, with which he won the title of “designer of the year” in 2009, is a 12 hour performance piece that discusses art, theatre and design) and redefines our everyday life: his creative style is bold, significant, provocative and at times poetical.
In Maarten’s world, the boundaries between art and design are blurred, reality blends with fantastical visions and evocative ideas: inspired by everyday life, Maarten transforms every single piece in a unique, simple and spontaneous object, stripped of his common appearance. The fans in synthetic clay are a striking example: made by hand in 2006, they resemble kids’ moulds and make us reflect, similarly to all the other objects on display, opening our eyes to new worlds.
Where: Design Museum Gent, 5 Jan Breydelstraat, Gent, Belgium
When: until 30 September 2018