Your work has a lot of textures, can you tell us more about your technique?
All my paintings start with the accumulation of recycled materials, superimposed and glued to the canvas. These materials have a history and with them I create layers of memories. They form a kind of skin on the canvas made of colored and rough strata. Like us, their appearance, their personality, is the result of a lived past. They are the consequence of their own history. When this abstract work of memory is completed, I move on to the figurative phase of the work.
I am inspired by stories like "Alice in Wonderland" or "20,000 leagues under the sea". I use these uprooted characters, lost in unknown and destabilizing worlds, and I confront them with contemporary issues, such as global warming or women's rights. These characters represent our doubts, our mistakes but also the courage we show in the face of adversity. This quest for truth and support for what seems right to me is the primary motivation for my pictorial work. In a world where the media have to fight to prove themselves trustworthy, I like to think that art could help restore truth and balance in thoughts by inviting contemplation and reflection.
How did you come up with the idea of painting your "Home" Series?
Since I moved here in Amsterdam, I wanted to paint the traditional dutch houses, but I couldn’t find the right angle, I mean, my personal point of view on the subject. During the confinement, suddenly we were all asked to stay home, in our dutch houses. Our universe shrank so fast, the limits were so clear, it was our doorsteps. We had to find ways to do so many new things from inside our homes: work, teach our kids, entertain them, clean our groceries, enjoy happy hours on zoom and meet with family members on video conferences. It was surreal, in this series, I was inspired by my discussions with my friends or the news. This series keeps on developing with the current events.
Do you work on commission?
Yes, I have a studio in Amsterdam Oost where I paint and meet with my clients. When someone wants me to create a painting, we discuss the subject matter and the color scheme, I usually ask for multiple photos, especially when it’s a person’s portrait or to represent a family’s pet. It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks for the painting to be done, sometimes a little more if it’s a large one or if I’m using oils instead of acrylics. I really enjoy working with people, they are very inspirational. It’s also a good feeling to know that I’m contributing in making something important to them last through time. A painting of a loved one or of a good memory is something unique, priceless. We have so many photos of everything we do nowadays, we even forget that we took them. But a painting, carefully thought and crafted, with lasting materials, will be the centerpiece of your living space for a very long time and even become a talking point with family members and visiting friends.