Saturday, September 23, 2006
Dutch artist and designer Femke Hiemstra has an incredibly unique and quirky Lowbrow style that evokes the work of Mark Ryden, Robert Williams, and Gary Taxali. I'm quite fond of her cheerful, cartoonish characters and innovative concepts, and I find her to be considerably less cynical than the artists mentioned above (who, as much as I love them, all tend to be rather consistently creepy in their work.) On her website Femtasia, Hiemstra sells prints, shirts and buttons, and while it all looks to be of excellent quality, I'm most impressed with the button designs. Unlike some artists, Hiemstra seems deeply unpretentious and down-to-earth, recognising the convoluted, interwoven relationship between art and commerce, and the fact that she is willing to translate her art into merchandise and sell it to, well, anyone (and not just the people who can afford five hundred bucks for a print) is refreshingly egalitarian. I highly, highly recommend ordering a handful of her buttons or a couple of patches (which she has awesomely dubbed "Gewgaws") or even a Giclée print, which are a veritable steal at 145 Euros each. Prints can be ordered through her website, and buttons, Gewgaws and shirts can be ordered either directly from her or via Buzzworks.
Femke Hiemstra will also be participating in the international "Ladies Only" show at Vancouver's own Tart Gallery, March 8th and 9th. Since it's in my hometown, I'll be making a point of checking it out, and I encourage anyone in the area to do so as well.