My graduation project presented at the Rietveld Graduation Show 2022 consisted in a series of works on paper, two sculptures and an a cappella singing performance. The main inspiration for the project are the perfect and impenetrable brick walls we might walk by in Amsterdam in relation to the imperfect, often chaotic and geometrically broken constructions and walls from my homeland Brazil. On city walls, both in Amsterdam and Brazil, recordings of anonymous passers-by such as a kid’s drawing, a poster, a tag can amalgamate and layer up to create novel compositions. Similarly, my work draws from these odd, arbitrary, improvisational compositions we walk past every day. Combining my artistic practice with my music practice I have come to incorporate vital aspects of music, such as rhythm, composition, improvisation in my paintings, thinning the boundaries between sound and shape. My musical work -which varies from poly instrumental tracks to raw and vulnerable voice performances- takes shape in the graduation project as Construção, an a cappella performance meant to bridge musicality and spatiality. This architectural and sonic sensibility is enriched by elements and symbols belonging to my personal mythology: for instance manivela -recurrent character in my paintings- is a hand decorated by a brick pattern holding a spoon carrying a candle. Manivela, in its effort to navigate life, carries the experiences of migrating from Brazil to the Netherlands, of finding a path, of structuring and standing alone -like a brick wall- but also of playing and molding the reality around him.
Pedro Kastelijns was born in Ponta Grossa in 1997, raised in Goiânia (Brazil), currently lives and works in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). This summer he graduated in Fine Arts from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.
Kastelijns’ work encompasses drawing, painting, music, performance and sculpture. His defining characteristic is the ability to combine different mark making styles and techniques on the same surface to create contrasting compositions in which camouflaged cartoonish characters share space with awkwardly juxtaposed brushstrokes and geometries. Combining visual -two and three dimensional- work with sound -music and performance-, he carries a similar sensibility and vibrancy, furthermore characterized by his playful and improvisational approach to both art and music. In the past year Pedro has started an exploration on the polyhedric meanings of brick walls that encompasses their conceptual relevance as well as their omnipresence in his own personal life from both his home-land Brazil and the Netherlands. This long-standing artistic research has ultimately inspired his bachelor’s thesis and his graduation project.
Manivela Manivela concrete I'm very very strong Go.., 2022 | Gouache, color pencil and wall paint on paper | 190 x 150 cm
In the world we live in today, life is many times demanding, boring, intense and sometimes even merciless. The human experience is traumatic in many ways, for all of us. Amid all this one must not forget to have fun, to experiment, seek freedom and excitement, to fight for joy, spontaneity, the ability to play and be creative. Growing up we distance ourselves from these traits, so easily accessible when we are kids. I believe being in touch with those feelings is very important. To tap into our inner child and to own our spontaneous and playful side is not only to live responsibly but it is also a revolutionary act. We can not take for granted our ability to feel and create something that can shape the world we live and experience; that’s why I make art.
| Manivela | P
Manivela with grid, 2022 | Gouache, color pencil and gesso on paper | 42 x 30 cm