Dutch artist Diet Wiegman (1944) is referred to as the ‘art omnivore’ and started an art movement by the same name. Wiegman has a very comprehensive oeuvre and works in a multitude of disciplines. His work is both conceptually and visually intriguing.
As a progressive ceramist, Wiegman acquired fame in the late sixties. Rusted cans and military bags which he made from clay, could not be distinguished from real ones. Like artists Piero Manzoni, Yayoi Kusama, and later Jean-Michel Basquiat, Wiegman was represented by the renowned Gallery Delta in The Netherlands. As a result Wiegman’s sculptures were displayed internationally at some of the most prominent galleries and art fairs.
Even though Wiegman leaves few disciplines and media untouched, his international breakthrough was caused by his ingenious shadow and light sculptures where, by illuminating a pile of waste, a contrasting image would appear on the wall in the form of a highly detailed shadow. ‘When trash becomes ideal beauty’. He later amazed people with sculptures in which he integrated shattered glass and mirror reflections with his shadow-art concept. By creating shadow art for almost forty decades, Wiegman is seen as a pioneer in this field and his work has inspired numerous artists throughout the years. During an interview in the seventies he laconically said: ‘I did not invent the phenomenon shadow, I just make holes in the light’. Wiegman reflects his vision of looking at seemingly general objects in a totally unique way and likes to inspire people along the way, even making us appreciate trash. Also, his light sculptures produce more than just a shadow: behind each work lies a concept.
Wiegman’s work often plays with clichés, distortion and contradiction. Sometimes philosophical, sometimes downplaying its seriousness, but mostly with a wink.
In 2008 ‘Anagram’ was released, an award-winning documentary by director Mike Redman that highlights Wiegman’s work and vision. Since Wiegman rarely speaks about his own art, it is a documentary without words that tells its own expressive story through Wiegman’s art. In 2009 Wiegman was voted ‘Most brilliant artist of The Netherlands’. His career spans more than fifty years of making contemporary sculptures, paintings and shadow art, and he shows no signs of slowing down. His art is owned by museums and private collections around the world.