ENG by Raymond Lemstra & Sybren Karst

The collaboration between Our Current Obsessions and our friend Raymond Lemstra was established early in the creation of NOIR. Being fans of Raymond’s vision for years now, both within his graphic work and the few sculptures he had made in the past, it was decided quickly to create another one of those fascinating creatures, but now in jet black instead of his usual strong colors, exclusively for NOIR. Raymond introduced Sybren Karst, specialized in woodwork, early in the proces, who proved to be the perfect partner for Lemstra, and together they created, all from old wooden play blocks, the extraordinary sculpture which is clearly marked with Raymond’s signature aesthetic and named ‚Eng’, which means scary in Dutch. We are extremely pleased with the result and hope for more beautiful collaborations by Raymond and Sybren in the future.

With his work, Raymond Lemstra likes to refer to the illustrative nature of primitive drawings and sculptures. With an interest in the distortion as a result of selective emphasis; parts of interest are emphasized, unimportant parts reduced or left out, Raymond’s characters come out big headed, with focus on the faces and the body trimmed to its essential properties.

I deliberately apply this primitive logic as a method. But I don’t apply it equally to all aspects of my work. Instead, I choose to use a very mature, highly laboursome technique for the execution of my work. This contrast, between the naive and sophisticated, gives the work a somewhat awkward taste. A clash of intent, simultaneously assuming simplicity and complexity, randomness and reason, flaws and perfection.

Sybren Karst stepped into the limelight under the moniker datasyb some years ago in a whole different area then woodwork, namely in music. After 10 years of playing percussion and being influenced by artists such as Virgo Four, Mr. Fingers, The Earsons, Chilly Gonzales, Rod Stewart, Iron Maiden, Biggie Smalls, Dipset, and more, he couldn’t resist anymore to create his own songs. In the early years of his musical career he has been teamed up with Kokoko under the alias Excuses, performing at large venues like Solar Festival, Mysteryland, Juicy Beats Festival, among others. Nevertheless, after some years he shifted focus to his personal work again, with a centroid on tension, melancholy and euphoria both in his productions and dj sets. Recently Sybren decided, next to his music, to concentrate on his second passion: woodwork. In an extraordinary workplace close to the border of the city of Amsterdam, in Sloten, Sybren works both on commission as autonomous projects like ‚Eng’. Keep an eye on him.

Photography by Benjamin van Witsen.

For more information on Raymond Lemstra see here.

For Sybren Karst see here.