Persona July, 1st 2021 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 321 - Jordy Koevoets

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 321 – Jordy Koevoets
Jordy Koevoets makes LEGO miniatures. Those miniatures are inspired by iconic works of art. In this way Jordy wants to tell the great stories of art in a recognizable, accessible way. An exhibition of these miniatures is currently on view in LocHal in Tilburg.
On a beautiful day in May I visit Jordy Koevoets in Breda. His studio is located on the ground floor of his home and his LEGO studio is set up on the first floor. He has been working on this 24 hours a day since 2019. Jordy: “With those LEGO miniatures I want to close the gap between the non-art-loving public and the art.”

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St. Joost
We sit on his outside terrace and look down on a beautiful green courtyard. It all started with socially critical art, Jordy says. In the summer of 2011, he graduated from the Academy AKV St. Joost in Breda. “At art academy I had a lofty view of the art world. After graduating, I gradually realized that egos, money and hypocrisy are quite common.”

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When he started working, the focus shifted from social-critical work to art-critical work. I recently saw an example of this in the group exhibition EN NOW in Pictura, Dordrecht. A meter long text work by Jordy, bright pink graffiti letters on a large white wall: ‘Was ik maar een Belgische kunstenaar, dan hoefde ik me niet te schamen’ (‘If only I were a Belgian artist, then I wouldn’t have to be ashamed’).

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Intrinsic Need
Jordy: “How much hypocrisy is there in the art world? I have an intrinsic need to express my opinion. Compare it to wildebeest dashing across the Savannah. Or a chicken taking a dust bath. They have to do that. This is also the case with me as an artist: I have to express myself. It is obvious to paint a painting, but it can also be a text. In the latter case it is 1 on 1. The message is clear. With a painting there is always the possibility of more interpretations.”
It even went so far that he wondered if he still wanted to belong to the official art world. “Art is sung so separately from society. I feel more comfortable when my work is shown in semi-public spaces than in a museum. Such as in the library of LocHal Tilburg at the moment, but it is also possible in schools, (children’s) hospitals or homes for the elderly.”

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And so he came up with the idea of LEGO. In this way the general public could be reached with art. “With LEGO miniatures I can give more meaning to art, personally it also gives me more satisfaction if I can show a school class, for example, the Lobster Telephone by Dali or the Fountain by Marcel Duchamp. There is immediate recognition and response. My parents are averse to art, but idolize LEGO. When they saw my miniature ‘The man measuring the clouds’ by Jan Fabre, Belgian artist, they were hooked. They loved this.”

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Key work
Does Jordy have a key work, a work that set a new course or a work that is etched in his brain? He has. It is the ‘Jordy Koevoets Visual Art Prize’. That prize, a critical yet playful parody of existing art prizes, could be won in 2018 by everyone who registered. There was only one rule: imitate Jordy’s Beach Ball artwork as accurately as possible!
“The Prize required a long preparation. A lot of people were involved. For example, one of my best friends became secretary of the fun art prize. Many submissions came in. These entries were anonymized by the secretary and presented as such to the one-man judge – myself. About 15 percent of the submissions came from people unknown to me, 85 percent known people. I worked together with the Brabant art center BKKC (now KunstLoc Brabant). There was a nice budget and packed prize package for the winner. A super-sized trophy like at football matches, a sum of money and a solo exhibition in the Kunst-Torentje (Art Tower) Almelo with a working budget. The selection of possible winners was good and the exhibition was beautiful. I made a statement about art with this self-invented art prize, accompanying exhibition and award ceremony, and that was well received. So I look back on it with a good feeling. Maybe there will be a sequel.”

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The lips bank and other works
We go upstairs to the LEGO room. On a table are many, many plastic bins with assorted LEGO bricks. Big, smaller, smallest, round etc. On the left are some iconic LEGO artworks. A large part is now in the exhibition in Tilburg. I see Dali’s Lips Benche, inspired by Mae West’s lips, Dali’s lobster telephone (one red and one white), Duchamp’s Fountain, Yoko Ono’s staircase with the letters YES just below the ceiling, Andy Warhol’s dollar bills in a decor , the Man measuring the clouds by Jan Fabre, Ushering in banality by Jeff Koons, two Margrittes, a Panamarenko and a Broodthaers, a totem pole by Brancusi, Kazuo Shiraga making a painting with his feet (in a set), Ai Weiwei’s triptych dropping an old Han dynasty urn and the field observatory of Thierry de Cordier.

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Tribute to the artist
Jordy: “It’s always a tribute to the artist and you can certainly laugh.” He is now in the process of putting four miniatures into production. Dali’s Lobster Telephone and Lips Bench, Brancusi’s Totem Pole and Duchamp’s Fountain. Of each of them 25 pieces. They come in a nice box. “Ultimately I want to get to 100 boxes. The sale can, for example, be through toy stores. I am now looking for someone to design the box.”
Let’s go to the artworks on the ground floor. I see, among other things, a painting of Dr. Phil, who points his finger at his head as if it were a gun and a text piece about Muslim girls, illustrated by two circles with a dot. “I point out the double standards of Muslim girls. They dress sexy, but with headscarves.” Below that is a painting with flags on party sticks in which you can also recognize Hitler’s swastika.

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Finally, what is Jordy’s philosophy, if not already mentioned? Jordy: “The art has to go to the people again. For that we first have to tear down the art, fillet the subsidies, subsidy providers and the egos in many art institutions. Only then can we build something beautiful from scratch and then rise to great heights.”
The exhibition ‘When LEGO becomes art!’ in the library of LocHal Tilburg can be seen until Sunday 26 September 2021. See the website for opening hours and the corona measures in force.
Note: Jordy Koevoets is not an officially certified LEGO artist. The LEGO group does not support Jordy’s LEGO project and LEGO does not support his ambitions in any way. Jordy does not build his LEGO miniatures on behalf of LEGO nor does he release his miniatures under the umbrella of the LEGO Group.

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1)LEGO miniature Pepto Bismo Panamarenko (detail), 2) LEGO miniature Kazuo Shiraga in studio, 3) LEGO miniature Ai Weiwei – Dropping an Han Dinasty Vase (in the making), 4) LEGO miniature – Lobster Telephone Salvador Dali, 5) LEGO Miniature – ‘The man measuring the clouds’ Jan Fabre, 6) LEGO Miniature Ushering in Banality Jeff Koons, 7) LEGO Miniature Shark Tank Damien Hirst, 8) Exhibition EN NU (AND NOW) – in Pictura Dordrecht, summer 2020, 9) exhibition finalists JKBK-PRijs 2018 in bkkc Tilburg, 10) Winner Mirjam Boomert – Jordy Koevoets in the middle – Hans Westerbeek Secretary JKBK prize right

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