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Scott VanderVoort

Written by Anna Caradeuc
Photography by Charles Roussel

Arrangements: A Presentation of Paintings & Sculptures By Scott VanderVoort.

From a young age I struggled with reading, writing, spelling, and grammar. My eyes avoided such situations as often as they could. Body language, hand gestures, facial expressions and movement became my tools to communicate out of necessity. I built a way to connect to others and the world around me. At the same time, nature and the world outside was my schoolhouse, touching, holding, and smelling all the elements in every season. Earth, sticks, rocks, pinecones, and plants were new ingredients for my hands. Stacking, cracking, twisting, and cutting materials helped me to construct shelters and forts with nature’s building materials.” — Scott VanderVoort

Scott VanderVoort is a New York-based artist whose work broadly explores themes of impermanence, beauty, and the ambiguous divide between art and the mundane. VanderVoort works in both two and three dimensions, with paint, sculpture, and installation, and through his art engages viewers in an often playful dialogue about the process by which objects, images, and spaces acquire meaning. Whether working with found objects like stone blocks from Bali or the walls of New York City elevator shafts, VanderVoort’s work often involves the process of activating space, place, and objects to bring life to what has seemingly been overlooked or disregarded. 

The paintings and sculptures presented at Art Cake are the result of a similar ambition in arriving at a language to connect and communicate with others. The use of shapes and compositions are built to be read as symbolic messaging positioned in a misleading way to influence the viewer into a deeper discovery or connection to the work. Positive and negative space is used to hold the viewer in an isolated moment, like pausing a moment in a film or holding a static frame. Embedding the idea that these selections are part of a bigger whole.

“The symbolic ingredients I use are the only elements I allow myself to reconfigure,” says the artist. “The use of abstraction and simple geometry helps the viewer access their own memory response to the work thereby grounding the work and guiding outcomes that are specific to me and my language. My place of opportunity comes from exploring the unseen or unpredictable. I favor shifting scale and establishing a visual balance in the characters to achieve my unique works. My selected final sculptures and paintings reach a point I like to call my ‘sweet spots’ like that satisfaction of fitting a puzzle piece where it belongs. It’s in these moments that my ‘arrangements’ come to life.”

For the past two decades, VanderVoort’s work has spanned across disciplines including industrial design, interior design, exhibition design, and architectural design programs. A passionate teacher on art and design, VanderVoort has served for two decades as a professor in Pratt Institute’s Industrial Design department, where he has taught on color, form, and space. In 2017, during a stay in Bali, Indonesia, he helped develop a curriculum in design for BambooU, an educational platform for designers, artists, and architects. His lectures on abstract form-making have taken him to Brazil, South Korea, China, and Indonesia. VanderVoort earned a B.A. in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in 1998. He currently lives and works in New York City.

Arrangements is on view at Art Cake, Brooklyn through April 20th, 2022. 

Art Cake
214 40th St
Brooklyn, NY 11232

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