When you go to 2046 Print Shop, you’re immediately part of the space race & Justin Van Genderen’s world of science and nature. His art prints are so specifically inspired, giving a platform to subjects many of us are astounded by and infinitely interested in. Whether physics, nature, or space, he’s tapping into an insatiable social appetite, and quite frankly, one of the more focused design sensibilities you’ll find.
Creating screen prints, giclees, and t-shirts as a delivery mechanism for his creative ideas, Justin is also inextricably linked to a world of art that embraces new tools, digital or otherwise, and is driven to build his own creative lifestyle business in a way that allows him to connect with fans based on an appreciation of subject matters that are so much bigger than any of us.
And if I had to identify a unitive thread, that would be it.
While Justin is able to convey design skills through the 2046 Print Shop, it’s the way his interests & aesthetic comes together in a way that connects. We love the way that co-mingles art, design, and science. Although these things may seem separate, it couldn’t be further from the truth. At IPMM, we value education that pushes boundaries and is interdisciplinary.
Read on to discover one of Chicago’s very own, Justin Van Genderen.
Evan: Dude, great to connect! You’re in Chicago now, but where are you from originally? (If Chicago…) What neighborhood or suburb, and what made you stay?
Justin: I was born and raised in northern New Jersey. I spent my college years in west MI at a small liberal arts college. After college I moved to Chicago, which was about 12 years ago now. I love being in a diverse city with so much history and culture.
We love the blurb in the header on your website… “It started with an obsession with the early days of the space race” … tell us more.
Well, I would say that’s how my interests normally go, I come across something that sparks an interest, and then I go all in.
I completely relate.
For the series of space race posters, I came across some old Life Magazine images of astronauts from the early days of NASA. The pictures were a pretty raw, looking at men entering a complete unknown. I started to hunt down any documentary on the space race and the beginnings of NASA, astronauts and cosmonauts. From there, the interest spread into science, theoretical physics and more. That’s how I came to 2046 Print Shop.
I’m glad you mentioned that…You design around theoretical physics and the park system too, how do you see those as interrelated? Or is it really more a matter of creating art around different categories of natural phenomena that inspires you?
When I first started to create these science posters I wanted to have a category or series name for all the prints. I ended up settling on Force & Nature. I viewed the two as flip sides to the same coin – the “Force” representing physics and the fundamental forces that have shaped the universe and “Nature” representing the physical world, matter. I’ve been accused of being a reductionist so I think it was an attempt to include everything at it’s base level. I have no background in science or physics beyond what I learned in High School & college, so I wanted to start at the bottom and move my way up.
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