I began as an academic and ended as an artist. For me, this unusual switch in life has always remained important. It not only provided me with a framework for my thinking and some of my dearest life-long friends, but a background in research also gave me the ability to combine the analytical with the creative.
People, nature, and what connects the two.
My work started out realistic, based on an academic training of many years. If you'd like to see my earlier work click here. Over the years, I started stylizing my images, just a bit at first, but more and more later on, transforming shape and twisting reality. I also became fascinated with non-traditional materials like perspex and epoxy resin, because of their transparent qualities.
I'm a Stoic, and my Stoicism is of great influence on everything I think and do; and thus is a necessary part of my art.
For example, all of my work concerns either nature, people, or both. Stoicism is a philosophy that states people are part of nature, not outside it, and Stoic philosophers spend a lot of time thinking about nature - about being part of a greater whole. My many nature paintings are examples of this kind of contemplation.
Part of nature is that as organisms we are mortal; Stoics aim to accept this and actively prepare for it - hence my many paintings with a life-cycle or 'memento mori' theme.
Another Stoic theme in my work is emotions. Stoics are not unemotional! But some emotions do more harm than good, so Stoics aim to use reason to stop and think before they do something that might hurt either themselves or others. The theme of my 'brainstorm' series is how people may suffer terribly from emotions that are not checked by reason.
In short, my art is about the nature around us and the nature inside us: about what drives us as human beings, what makes our lives worthwhile, what hurts us and makes us vulnerable. For a Stoic, the care of others is a natural result of the care for ourselves: we are nothing without others. In different ways, two of my latest projects, 'landscapes of war' and 'what you can dream...' reflect this belief in the necessity to be rational, alert to injustice, and compassionate.
Also, many artists have influenced me over the years, and I keep discovering new ones! You can have a look at the wide variety of artworks, pictures, music, movies etc. that inspire me in my digital museum on pinterest.
A short CV:
1991 M.A. in Applied Linguistics, University of North Wales
1992 'Doctoraal' English, University of Amsterdam
2002 Fine Arts Degree, drawing and painting, Wackers Academy, Amsterdam
2002-'03 Masterclasses in painting, Maarten Welbergen, Amsterdam
2005-'08 Etching lessons, Guus Glass, Amsterdam
2011 Voordekunstenaar Art & business project, The Netherlands
2012 Epoxy resin workshop, Bart van der Bom
Publications (in Dutch):
Realisten 2012, De veertiende onafhankelijke realisten tentoonstelling - 2009, Appingedam, Museum Mohlmann
Realisten 2011, De dertiende onafhankelijke realisten tentoonstelling - 2009, Appingedam, Museum Mohlmann
Realisten 2010, De twaalfde onafhankelijke realisten tentoonstelling - 2009, Appingedam, Museum Mohlmann
Realisten 2009, De elfde onafhankelijke realisten tentoonstelling - 2009, Appingedam, Museum Mohlmann
Realisten 2008, De tiende onafhankelijke realisten tentoonstelling - 2008, Appingedam, Museum Mohlmann
De wereld keert zich om - 2007, Castricum, Uitgeverij NU
De Collectie Compleet, Een hedendaagse verzameling Hollands Realisme - 2006, Venhuizen, Rob Mohlmann
25 Jaar Wackers Academie - 2006, Alkmaar, De Doelenpers
Work in collections:
JAFA, USA - www.juliaferguson.com/jafa.html
Kunstkamer, Baarn - www.kunstkamer.nl
Galerie Peter Leen Peter Leen Gallery, Breukelen - www.galeriepeterleen.nl
Museum Møhlmann, Venhuizen - www.robmohlmann.nl
and work in private collections