Based in Amsterdam, SIT works across an intriguing gambit of mediums and styles, but we are most wowed by his 2011 series NOIR. His anthropomorphic women are undeniably racy – and pretty hot stuff. Their attractiveness is darkly disturbing when taking in the zips and buckles that imply animals being destroyed for their fur, skin and plumes. 'Killer Heels' takes this to the next level, with stilettos in mock croc skin complete with the reptile's faces staring up from your toes with a look of intense scrutiny.The price of beauty is dramatically re-evaluated. We chatter with SIT about the evils of advertising, the expense of experimentation and simple joys of monochrome.
What made you decide to throw in your commercial work in favour of making art? How's the transition treated you?
When I was young, I had a dream about becoming an artist. First, I believed that I wanted to work in artistic advertising, but after years of doing so I started to hate it. I think that advertising brings down all that is natural, so I couldn’t be part of that anymore. In 2008, I started to paint about my disgust in advertising through my series UNWIRED, and knew what I wanted from that point on: to make art until I die.
Presumably you weren't christened 'SIT' – what does the name mean to you?
The story behind my name is probably not that interesting. SIT is just 'Sid' (short for Sidney), but better and less common!
You work across an unusually broad range of different mediums, from street art, through sculpture, and all the way to high heeled shoes. Do you enjoy experimenting with materials, or is the form simply a vehicle for your ideas?
After an idea has formed, I will look for the right material to bring the piece to the next level; I love to examine ways of simplifying my concepts further. Where I originally felt I need to make 20 paintings to tell my story, I love to find one image that says the same thing. After the 'Killer Heels', I have found that making 3D objects is much more powerful, and because of this I want to use 3D much more often. Creating objects or sculptures takes away the frame which I used to work in, and was limited by. After years of painting, I have now found a way to be more free, through working with shapes. However, unfortunately I’m not yet in the position to experiment with that much, because it can be quite expensive. I normally need to think things through a little more.
Which other artists inspire you, and what influences you beyond the art world in everyday life?
For the most part, everything I smell, see, feel and taste influences my work. Inspiration comes from all of these ingredients, mixed up and put in the oven for a while until it comes out in a brand new form. When this happens, I have no influence over it, but when I sit still for quite some time, things fall into place and I know what to do.
Colour doesn't seem to really do it for you, artistically-speaking. Why so much monochrome?
I think that black and white is timeless. Unlike colour, black and white is more open for suggestion and ambiguity.
A lot of your work focuses on our exploitation of the animal world and the violent clash between nature and humanity. We love NOIR, and the tantalizingly sensual yet intrinsically cruel anthropomorphic woman. Are animal rights an important concern for you?
I created NOIR as a point of discussion around necessity being replaced by vanity. Where do we cross a line – or do we move that line constantly, to justify our actions concerning animal cruelty?! NOIR stands for the beauty of the animal kingdom struggling with existence, as fashion decides what to wear this upcoming season.
Tell us about the way that these morbid themes combine with sexuality in your work.
That’s not how I see it. I would consider my work as hybrid and sensual. The dark against the light, the good and the bad, all mixed together in one concept. I love to play with what the eye loves to see and what it doesn’t; to experiment with what will be accepted. My themes have a lot to do with life and death, which I don’t necessarily see as directly morbid subjects.
Finally, what can we expect to see from you in the future? Do you have any exciting new projects on the go?
I don’t plan things. I’ll see what comes up next. What I can say with certainty is less painting – more sculpting.
To check out more of SIT's work, visit his website.