Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am 31, originally from Amsterdam; I was raised in a posh city nearby. I didn’t especially like it there. Well, I liked the environment and my friends a lot, but I’ve also met a lot of narrow-minded people. I decided to go to the art academy to work with my intellect and creativity because I wanted to communicate with people through art. I got my degree 8 years ago, I have been steadily finding out what I am good at, and what I would like to tell people with my art.
What would you consider to be your distinctive achievement?
I am proud of the quality I’ve reached in my artwork at this stage. I could point out some of my pieces, but mainly I would say the combination of quality and content.I see a lot of art, and I feel that there is a lot of design or a kind of ‘arthabit’ as a result of recent art history, but qualified as content.I took my time to develop my ideas and I will go on working in this way. I could have tried to get the perfect network by showing my face in certain circles a lot, but I decided to extend my contacts in a more natural way and share my art with people surrounding me that are not only from the art scene. So you could say I am proud of gradually having developed quality, content and a network, but to be honest, I don’t use the word ‘proud’ a lot, because I see (my) development as a logical thing.
What are you looking forward to?
A lot actually.
I look forward to study the subject of consciousness. The upcoming year I will concentrate on consciousness and visual awareness (related to the change in visual language in art and in general). This is one of the three bigger themes that are part of my visual language.
I also look forward to a theatre show with Uri Eugenio, a very special dancer, and Marc Alberto, a brilliant young composer. We have worked together, researching the subject of infinity through dance, visual art and music. This is one of the best collaborations I’ve ever had! Very equal and interesting. I am looking forward to the next part of the process.
Then I am looking forward to create even more shows, interdisciplinary works, collaborating with other professionals, I have plans to collaborate with an interactive designer, or hopefully someday with someone with skills in artificial intelligence (a subject I am interested in) and I look forward to integrate all this different layers of my thoughts, in my oil and computer paintings and other forms of art.
It’s a lot right?
Which advice would you give to the young professionals?
To be honestly aware of yourself first, who you are, and what it is that you are truly interested in. Please figure out before you start doing something that will be a disappointment in the end. It could be that you are good at something in particular, then just do it! (‘create your own market’ a director of a company recently said to me). Or in my case, I am open-minded and I wanted to try out many things. I have learned a lot because of that attitude, but it has also taught me to work all the time, to focus, and to finish projects. Also you should be realistic about what it means to follow your heart. It can be quite a challenge.
Try to find ways to give depth to your thoughts or to whatever you are busy with. You might be an organizer, a doctor or an artist, or just plain lazy, be honest, don’t do things for reasons that are not a product of your autonomous thinking.
What are the challenges that we need to overcome to make ‘cultural entrepreneurship’ more accessible?
I think that it can start on two levels. One level could be knowing exactly what The artist and the Others with Common Knowledge are doing, and then integrate this in a more early stage of the ‘artistic’ and cultural professional career. Organize meet ups for people from a variety of businesses. Thus, it will be easier to talk to each other. This is very important.
The other thing is to change the perception that people have of art. A lot of people I’ve met in the Netherlands have negative feelings or no feelings about art at all. There is a big group in society, that thinks art is not important for them, they say they can’t learn from it, they don’t find it beautiful and it hasn’t got anything to do with them. They say it is just a hobby, like bird watching or knitting. I think it would help to focus more on art in primary school and in high school.
But it also might be a consequence of the art world itself and the choice of art critics, gallerists and curators to ‘like each others likes.’
If you take a step back you see that a lot of artists use a visual language that is difficult to understand within the time we are living in, even for me sometimes, although I am educated for it. And there we have a problem, because this is a point where people loose their interest.
I am noticing more and more, that with the new generation of artists and theatre makers there is awesomeness, technics and beauty coming back into the visual language. Even combined with urgent topics and deep thoughts, this grabs people’s attention, because it is visually attractive and they can relate to that kind of art no matter what the subject is, be it complex, simple, abstract, figurative, about personal observation, about aesthetics or about politics.