RDM-er (2015) Cor Kraat

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

One of the designs that the Rotterdam artist Cor Kraat made on his own initiative in recent years is this steel-cut RDM-er. It is a tribute to the workers of the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij (RDM), an important shipyard at Heijplaat in Rotterdam between 1902 and 1996. Kraat preferred to see the sculpture realized somewhere on the RDM site and approached the Port of Rotterdam Authority, which commissioned him to carry out the RDM-er. The work is therefore a tribute of steel in memory of the people who made this company world famous. It stands for all the people who have worked at the RDM, from doctor to director. The design is a portrait of a man who looks proudly at the current users of the RDM site. He identifies with the Port Authority, parts of his face and cap have taken on shapes from the environment. His cap resembles a ship, his nose a ship's prow. Its ripples are like waves or rivers and its pupils are shaped by ships that you don't know whether they are sailing towards you or away from you, from the past to the present and vice versa. The unveiling of the RDM-er took place on 28 in May 2015.

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About the artist

Cor Kraat (Rotterdam, 1946) was educated at the Rotterdam Academy of Art from 1965 to 1971. From 1979 to 1992, Kraat worked in the artists' collective Kunst & Vaarwerk with Hans Citroen and Willem van Drunen. Kunst & Vaarwerk focused on monumental art in the city. Between 1979 and 1983 Cor Kraat taught screen printing at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Kraat was also co-founder of the Black Cat gallery, a gallery for contemporary visual art on the Mauritsweg from 1978 to 1987.

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