Dutch artist Marc Bijl is a highly versatile artist who switches as effortlessly between political activity and street culture as he does between the media of image, text and music.
In his early work Marc Bijl reacted to global themes and to popular fascination with symbols of political power, globalization of the economy and nationalism. This resulted in interventions that underscored or undermined world views. Whether addressing politics, religion, globalization and its backlash, or the art scene. Bijl endeavours to expose superficialities and myths via his work. To do this he employs visual elements borrowed from punk and Gothic subcultures and from anarchism. These elements can also be discerned in his later work: the philosophical quotes in graffiti on walls, flags in various renderings and with various texts, and the black sculptures of dark knights on horseback, eagles and Lara Croft.
His most recent work is more abstract and minimalistic, exemplifying a shift in approach, by which he pares down different perspectives and methodologies to a new essence. The crux is no longer the 'symbolism', but what that symbolism represents and signifies.
Marc Bijl (NL, 1970) has had solo exhibitions at institutions worldwide, including the Groninger Museum (2012); Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2009); DA2, Salamanca (2009); Gem Museum, Den Haag (2005); and Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2002), among others. Bijl has participated in significant group exhibitions including those held at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven; Rijksmuseum Twenthe; Groninger Museum; Cobra Museum Amstelveen; Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin; Kunstmuseum St Gallen; Fridericianum Kassel; Kunstmuseum Bonn; and MUSAC Castilla y Leon. The artist’s work is held in numerous public collections internationally, including Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Collection MUSAC, Castilla y Leon; Frac, Nord, Pas de Calais; Collection HVCCA, New York; Collection Kunstmuseum Stuttgart; Collection Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag; Groninger Museum; KRC Collection, The Netherlands; and Daskapopoulos Collection, Greece, among others.
Bijl, Marc. Afterhours. Brugge: Die Keure, 2005. ISBN: 90-6730-202-3
Bijl, Marc. In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2009. ISBN: 978-90-5662-682-2
Bijl, Marc. Hard Edge. Berlijn: The Green Box, 2012. ISBN: 978-3-941644-49-6
© Portrait by Ruud van der Peijl