Born in 1970, Hoorn The Netherlands
Now living and working in Zwolle, working as a visual artist since 1996
Education graphic high school
As an artist I am driven and stimulated by the zeitgeist, current events, daily absurdity and human shortcomings. In other words, the condition humaine. Engagement is not so much a choice but a visual outcome of what naturally goes on in my head. I look for the common ground and wrap it in a somewhat aesthetic image. I find aesthetics an important part of my work because it is the connection for the underlying idea. The term elusive is used when people want to characterize me. That elusive is not my chosen definition. For me everything falls together in a logical way and there is a clear underlying motive. The so-called artistic dogma is not for me. I think one of the most beautiful aspects of being an artist is the total freedom to be able to discover and explore boundaries. I personally can only do that if the artistry itself and the mediums may also be limitless. Of course I have struggled with the question whether I should not be more unambiguous in my expressions, before. But after those struggles I shook it off to get closer to my own freedom and thus to myself. You come across different disciplines in my work and I even change style every now and then. But basically everything is a step in my development as an artist and as a person, this shows when you look back throughout the years. If you were to follow the line into the future, you might see that there is no end, and no final conclusion. But hopefully an interesting and lively oeuvre.
I actually hold up a mirror to the viewer. At times I draw directly from reality because there is already so much surrealism, contradiction or conflict in it that I only have to highlight it in a very labor-intensive way. Being human in an increasingly complex world raises many philosophical questions. In essence, I think asking the questions is enough. I like to set something in motion, no matter how small. That may be my motivation and the bigger concept. Painting is kind of a spiritual necessity for me. It calms you down but it is also a fight, a fight with matter, patience and with myself. With painting, more than with anything else, the action is never self-evident, you can never fall back on previous successes, the solution for a good result is neither self-evident. Every new canvas I start naked and pristine and I have to prove myself all over again. That is the most intense but also the most beautiful thing about painting. It's blood, sweat and tears. But this creates a true image with a right to exist, if only for me as a maker. With this, stories can be told and new worlds are created. So every painting, every canvas is a fight but also an act of love.
“Be a master and a designer of yourself”, says Friedrich Nietzsche. This is about empowerment, about the ability to improve yourself, to be allowed to develop and grow despite (at least that's how I read it) descent, nature and nurture. By shaping yourself you also make a start on shaping finer and better circumstances and who knows, maybe a slightly better world. While we are here, better make the most of it. We don't have to wait for another to act, we can act now, at any given minute. For me this is a rule to live by. Real autonomy is and makes vulnerable. The resulting vulnerability makes modest and puts everything in a different perspective. Not being part of a group, but being a self-chosen outsider can result in seeing things more clearly. It is my personal aim to become and remain as autonomous as possible in both thinking and acting. And I hope that reflects in what I make. The origin of my artistry roots in this. I feel my best off the beaten track. I only really discovered this around my 24th birthday. My first studio in a then squatted school (De Oude Ambachtsschool) offered me the prospect of a life without security but with the feeling that anything was possible. This supplied me with so much air and space. That air and space laid the foundation for my work. No shine without friction, but no breath without air.
Basically I have this certain urgency to create. This urgency can also be 'disappearing for a while', but more often it is a compelling thought that imposes itself on me. This can be an idea, a word, an image, a sentence, a statement. By nature I have a restless soul and a head like a crowded house. Producing out of something that goes on in my head is tantamount for opening a valve to let some pressure out and create new space. So for me personally, a creative process is also very healthy for my mind. It keeps things in balance. I work with different mediums. In the choice for the medium, the idea is leading. With the painting process I go deep technically and mentally. I think it is a good procedure (especially in this time of volatility) that something intensive and slow comes about. In my perspective that gives value. The artwork grows along with you for a while, as it were. But when I create a digital work it is also intensive labor on the one hand, because it is still painting. Painting with bits and bytes, that is. But on the other hand, it is faster, smoother and a lot more contemporary. And to add an important difference, there is always the possibility to take steps back in the process. This way small errors are easy to fix.
I really enjoy looking at other artists and the art they produce. I think it is really nourishing in a sense. Food for the soul. But that goes by the grace of wonder and an open mind. The moment I become aware of the art of others in relation to myself, there is more noise and room for doubt or I become too distracted by all impulses and possibilities and all the possible ideas that I may pass up on. I unconsciously collect a lot and I am sure it will take root somewhere and over time it pops up. Conversely, it would be vain to state that I might be able or willing to influence others. I hope perhaps to inspire others. If we zoom out for a moment, you can currently see that engaged art is regaining a place within visual art. That is a great development. My first major art influencer, that I remember, was Pablo Picasso. I especially admired him for his total idiosyncrasy and bravado. Picasso coincided with everything he did. In a sense I wanted to be that way; fearless, playful, energetic and innovative. Camille Claudel and Frida Khalo where two beautiful inspirational female figureheads. In their days both female independence and female art were not common good yet. They paved the road so to speak and I am thankful.