Business- one year of work by NIGHTSHOP
Proper introductions go a long way: Rotterdam based designers Ward van Gemert and Adriaan van der Ploeg started working together in 2010 under the name NIGHTSHOP. They made various product designs like the POV Cookie Jar, the Exploded Chandelier and the Showdown carpets. For the better part of a year they frantically made new work resulting in seven new projects. Without any restrain they build their own world full of fascinations and observations. The Business exhibition is the culmination of a years work and was made in close collaboration with Gallery Robert van Oosterom. Datum/tijd/duur expo
Ward and Adriaan are mainly interested in mixing elements of high culture and popular culture into their designs. Also, they’re keen on investigating the boundaries between good taste and bad taste.
The reason to work a full year on new work was the frustration caused by the often costly and time-consuming nature of the modern-day design process. Further more, to make a new product, you also have to deal with external parties that produce parts for you. To cut a long story short: it takes quite a bit of arranging, planning and other desk stuff. Ward and Adriaan wanted to produce work for a full year with the minimum amount of third party involvement and organizing. Due to this desire, they have maintained a strong DIY ethic throughout their seven new projects. From start to finish almost all of the work was done by Ward and Adriaan. They drew inspiration from the Punk movement of the seventies and eighties which also had a strong DIY influence as well as a fast way of working. However, Ward and Adriaan like things to be finished and refined. The starting point of project can be bold, crude and rough, the finished product should be sophisticated.
What binds the seven projects, which are all different in both concept and form, is this influence, this way of working. Thats why Ward and Adriaan call their work sophisticated punk.
Birds of a feather (flock together), 2015-2016
Ward and Adriaan like basic things. The way lamps are shaped being one of them, they appreciate the boldness of a simple white orb with a light in it. Found all over the world from swimming pools to fancy diners, this shape cannot be more omnipresent. After spending some time talking about them, they realized that they would be far better with a face on them.
All joking aside, with these drawn on white spheres Ward and Adriaan wanted to make objects with the most fundamental and naive decoration they could think of. Drawing inspiration from tattoo art as well as Dutch carnival, the 22 orbs resemble a kind of tribe and together become an installation of it’s own.
More than any other project in the exhibition, The Birds of a feather installation is a reaction to overly complicated and perfectly machined designs which surround us everyday.
Each orb measures 24,5 cm in diameter and is placed on a coated base. It includes an E27 fitting and a lightbulb.
The Strangers/The people in our street, 2015-2016
‘Heads will roll’
Ward and Adriaan always had a fascination for faces. If they had the chance, they would stare at someone’s face until it became inappropriate. That’s why they turned their eye on the people of their street and meticulously started to document them using resin based children's clay. This originally colorful clay contrasts with the grimly looking characters. The result is a family of outcasts and strangers without any kind of filter. Free to stare at until the cows come home.
The heads generally measure about 30 cm and are placed on a coated base.
The Routine, 2015
“one two three… one two three…”
Closing a door twice or flipping the light switch three times. Known in medical circles as OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder, Ward and Adriaan thought this disorder would be a good starting point for a new lamp. The Routine is made from a thick sheets of acrylic and meticulously scratched by hand.
By doing so, light travels from the top of the sheet and illuminates the scratches. The handmade scratches contrast with the minimal and industrial looking armature. This gives it a weirdly personal touch. A reminder of human imperfection in a perfectly machined frame.
The big edition takes cues from fluorescent LED signs often found in bars and seedy phone shops. By mixing this aesthetic with hand drawn patterns inspired on studies in optical illusions, the lamp becomes a installation that is reminiscent of certain kinds of folk art. The compulsive hand drawing gives the lamp a playful tension between the warmth of the pattern and the cold form of the armature.
The scratched version measures 100 cm by 38 cm. The patterned version measures 305 cm by 70 cm. Both armatures are suspended and work on 12V LED.
“A distraction from yourself”
Ward and Adriaan wanted to make a mirror for a long time but never figured out how to make a good one. They believe the problem with mirrors is that they’re as beautiful as the person in front of it.
By covering the mirrors with densely drawn patterns on the reflective surface, the mirrored image not only becomes less important, the image itself seems to move and distorts depending on the angle you’re looking at it.
The Crackerjack mirrors come in an vast variety of colors and patterns and measure 55cm in diameter. They can be mounted on the wall. Apart form this size, they also made three big mirrors measuring 250 cm by 45 cm. For the bigger picture.
All the mirrors are glazed with an crystal clear resin coating.
“Experiments in color and pattern”
The Showdown carpets are experiments in color and pattern and are made from soft urethane foam. Ward and Adriaan mix the colors themselves and pour it in lines and shapes. Due to the properties of the urethane foam, the method of working is quite fast. This complements the crude way the patterns are designed.
The big carpets measure 164cm x 235cm. The smaller mounted carpets are 80cm x 280 cm.
POV sign, 2015
“A sign without a message”
The POV sign, or point of view sign, is inspired on the ubiquitous beer signs you can often find at your local bar. The point of advertising is conveying a message. Ward and Adriaan instead liked the idea of making a sign without a message. By using bright color schemes and materials often used in advertising, the viewer gets the feeling of looking at an advertisement without a message or product to sell. What remains is a colorful object stripped of it’s function. A blatant object reminiscent of all those ads.
Business furniture, 2015-2016
“Boredom preserved for eternity”
Ward and Adriaan never worked in an office. Be that as it may, they do like office furniture due to the fact they’re not only boring but also neutral. This kind of furniture doesn’t smell of vintage or has an air of pretentiousness. To Ward and Adriaan they’re blank canvasses. However, they’re functional canvasses in their own way. What started out as a homage to the scratched and blotted doors you find in high school toilets, bars and offices, Ward and Adriaan spend a year drawing on various kinds of office furniture. Ranging from closets to tables, every object got a specific pattern designed for that particular piece and thus elevating them to a totally new design. After the drawing, all the pieces got a thick layer of clear resin to preserve the fragile patterns. The end result is a an exercise in patience as well as a declaration of love to the one emotion that binds us all: boredom.
Ward van Gemert and Adriaan van der Ploeg started collaborating in 2010 under the name of NIGHTSHOP. What began as a one time collaboration quickly became a full time creative endeavor. NIGHTSHOP showed their works at fairs, galleries and museums in Berlin, Milan, Paris, London and Rotterdam. Ward and Adriaan live and work in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Robert van Oosterom Gallery
Robert van Oosterom is active in the field of interior design and art. He regularly shows work of both established international artists as well as upcoming talents. Van Oosterom has a keen eye for artists and designers that have a bold and direct way of working. His studio is located on a unique location with a beautiful view of the skyline of Rotterdam. It is a place where cultural events, exhibitions, music and food go hand in hand with matters of a more formal character.