Photo by Lisa Schamle
Elsemarijn Bruys (b. 1989, NL) is a visual artist with a strong curiosity for sensory perception. In her hybrid practice, she alternates between making sculptures and architectural interventions, but the spatial experience is always her starting point.
Her background in fashion has greatly influenced her sculptural work. For example, her series Puff (2019 – now) is a sculptural reference to the archetypal puffer jacket, the garment that possesses the quality of being class-transcending and is embraced by just about every social group. Bruys' puffs are fleshy and permanently under tension. They are so high-gloss that the viewer sees themselves reflected in them, although completely stretched and distorted. This duality, between lighthearted and uncomfortable, between attractive and repulsive, is an important motif in her work.
Air is the main medium Bruys works with. She takes the material so seriously that she considers it her collaborator. Within her work, air has the freedom to take its course: rectangles become round, spaces are filled and occupied, objects breathe in and out, visitors are subtly flattened and perspectives become deformed. The addition of air makes her objects performative, and the change of form (morph) it brings about is simultaneously the core of her work.
Bruys is currently working on a series of mirrors, premiering in Berlin. Her work has been shown at the Van Eesteren Museum, Kunsthal KAdE, Art Rotterdam, Down The Rabbit Hole, Torrance Art Museum and the Van Gogh Museum, among others.