Polaroid (1981) Kunst & Vaarwerk

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

If you take the S20 exit from the A112 to Rotterdam Center, you will pass this gigantic enlargement Polaroid, which is stuck with a large red thumbtack in the pillar under the tram track. The somewhat empty and gray space under the viaduct will get a certain playfulness with this object, which is not hung for nothing. Place and object mutually reinforce each other. The Polaroid is 3 meters high and made by the Rotterdam artist collective Kunst & Vaarwerk. With narrative and appealing art, they introduced a new kind of pop art in 1979, which suited the port city of Rotterdam and which gave humor and lightness to what many consider to be a rather business-like gray city. Kunst & Vaarwerk had the idea of ​​marking various access roads to the city, of which this work from 1981 is an example. The harbor was an important theme for the three artists, Hans Citroen, Willem van Drunen and Cor Kraat. At the request of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the image on the Polaroid once changed. Instead of a ship's deck, we now see part of a container storage and transshipment.

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About the artist

Kunst & Vaarwerk was an artist group consisting of Cor Kraat (1946), Hans Citroen (1946) and Willem van Drunen (1947) and existed from 1979 to 1992. Kunst & Vaarwerk was a Dutch pop-art variant, which hit back with humor and irony to the harsh urbanity. The scale of the port city called for an art of stature and brutality, but it is also an art against forgetfulness. The group collaborated with the Rotterdam business community to finance the projects and has realized various works in public space.

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