Guda Koster is a sculptor and performance artist based in Amsterdam. She creates what she calls “living sculptures”- staged photos of a model, usually herself, whose form is integrated into geometrical shapes, with bright colours or graphic designs that either blend in or contrast strongly with it. “I started out doing textile sculptures”, she explains, “which were – and still are – related to clothing. After a while it seemed only a small step to actually slip into the works and then photograph it”.
In Koster’s art the identity of the human figure is generally hidden, disappearing into or obstructed by the geometrical forms. She explains that she does this to focus attention on other elements of the composition. “If you cannot see the face, the figure’s personality is less obvious”, she points out. “But clearly the works often do have distinct characters, be it male or female, timid or confident.
Clothing is central in Koster’s work. To her, what we choose to cover ourselves with has the practical function of protecting the body, but it also conveys messages. “In our daily life, our social position, function, or identity are visible in what we wear”, Guda observes. In this light, getting dressed can be seen as a form of visual art, a way to express how we see ourselves and want others to see us. She concludes that fashion and clothing are thus “a lot more than just trends that come and go over time”.
Koster’s pieces carry a sense of mystery – sometimes humorous, sometimes more disturbing, but always enigmatic. She likes to play with the visible and the invisible. The effect is that “the boundaries between body and setting become unclear. I guess that is where most of the tension – or mystery – in the work comes from.”
From Collage meets design – cut and paste in graphic design and art by Jorge Chamorro