Floor Grootenhuis is a Dutch-Kenyan contemporary artist based in NY. Her contemporary and performative practice is focused on invitation, connection and identity. Floor has lived and worked across the world including Kenya, The Netherlands, Spain, Indonesia, and now NYC. Her upbringing and professional work in the field of humanitarian assistance influence her contemporary, performative and collaborative artistic practice.
In creating her works Floor values the common experience in diverse societies, while subtly critiquing social structures. She has a desire to listen, learn, and closely connect with others through an open and experimental platform. Floor creates connections around themes that are global, urgent, of personal significance, and invites the public to intimate conversations about these works. Her collaborative research-based approach uses a variety of media that is adjusted to support each specific work. The various communities that she is connected to are her key collaborators.
Her art deals with the body and our collective relationship to each other. In her latest works, Floor partnered with biologists to bring science and art closer to the public. For example, in What is the color of your blood? she focused on the paradox: we have outer differences, yet inside we are more than 99.7% similar. To experiment with this notion she installed Cellfie Studio Lab in a public space. In this studio people were invited to look at the color of their blood, take a cellfie—a microscopic blood photograph—and consider their relationship to their identity. In another piece, mapping our collective fabric // the microbiome, Floor collaborated with microbiologist Kelly Eckenrode to visualize a part of our collective human microbiome by creating one large agar imprint, a collective map, from our outer body on a uniquely designed TSA agar growing plate. This was used to illustrate the diversity and similarities of our bodies and to visualize the interconnected loops that make up our bodies’ circular economy.
All of these engagements are made possible by nurturing and developing social connections ranging from university department directors to biology science majors, custodial staff, cafe managers, and legal departments.
Floor is currently an artist-in-residence/research scholar at the Raper Lab in the Hunter College Department of Biological Sciences. She has an MFA in Social Practice from Queens College, CUNY and was a More Art Engaging Artist 2017 fellow and part of the NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentorship Program 2018/19. She has a Masters in Human Geography from the University of the Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Floor has received grants from Social Practice Queens through the Arts, Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and Vilcek Foundation and Queens Art Intervention. The Queens Museum, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum and Five Myles Gallery in New York have exhibited her work as well as the Centre de Cultura Contemporània in Barcelona, Spain. Floor’s pieces live in private collections in Kenya, South Africa, Australia, USA, Thailand, Indonesia and the Netherlands.