Afterwards, I believe I would want to see a pinball machine in theme of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms, for experimental rather than practical purposes.
Also, I am thinking about the installations of Funda Gül Özcan. I think she would make an amazing pinball machine, so I would probably ask her if she would like to do a Funda installation machine.
I just read that Alex Katz seemingly diagnosed his failed paintings as ‘having no inside energy’. How do you define if an artwork is good or failed in your practice? And would you like to share an example of a good or a failed work with a small insight in your thought process?
Energy and thoughts about whether or not I am on the right track are certainly connected. Half way through my residency at sundaymorning@ekwc, I could classify myself as “Having no inside energy”. “Aardewerk is paardenwerk” they say in Dutch. I pressed thousands of kilos of clay and monitored the drying process 24/7. I went home one day to see my wife, but I was too tired for a normal conversation. Pushing the limits of clay, I had clearly reached my own limits.
I was puzzled. I am convinced that art should serve life, not the other way around. But the fatigue also confirmed my idea of getting the most out of the working period. The physical intensity was pushing up the things I wanted to share with my work. I ended up using more clay, more colours, more layers and more stories than I ever did in sculpture. Strangely enough, this was not making my works heavier but lighter.
When was the last time you felt treated Unfair?
I live in a lovely working/living building for artists. The current rental contracts are given out for 5 years to people below the age of 28, a so called ‘jongerencontract’. I said goodbye to one of my young neighbours a week ago, she had to move out of Amsterdam. It felt a bit unfair.
The ‘jongerencontract’ is no sustainable solution for people who, after 5 years, still rely on social housing. I hope that there will be better and more durable solutions for the housing shortage in Amsterdam in the near future.
Inez de Brauw – Moonlit Isles (2021)
Do you have an object, text or an artwork that made a grand impression on you during your art career? And could you explain why it left such an impression?
There was one time a work of art made me cry. In Florence at the Uffizi. I was approaching Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Annunciation‘. The beautifully dressed angel gracefully kneels for Maria. On the cheek of the angel I encountered a tear. In this ‘Annunciation’ situation I was not expecting the angel to be the emotional one. It hit me, tears streamed down my face. After some sobbing I came closer to take a good look at the tear and saw that it was, in fact, an accidental piece of dust.
The world is ending, you can escape in a rocket, the only thing you can take with you is one sculpture, which sculpture would that be?
I would love to secretly pack a few. First, although not a sculpture, I would like to take an updated version of the Voyager Golden Record with me.
So that I could try to explain human life to possible aliens.
Next, I would love to take all Jeff Koons New Hoover Convertibles, because they capture time passing beautifully. And last, I recently discovered moiré sculptures made by an artist called Matthew Monahan, those are amazing! I would happily take all his 2018’s work with me into space.
Are there currently projects that you are working on, aspirations you have, things that you are proud of or are look forward to, that you would like to share?
A month ago my world was turned upside down because of my daughter Immi’s birth. I visually searched my way in this new situation. It helped me somehow to make simple drawings of Immi or to model her mother out of clay. But also at unexpected moments I cling to a visual coherence such as when changing Immi’s diaper.
Immi’s stools are curry yellow.
The color of the walls in our apartment is curry yellow.
Before red-firing clay goes into the kiln the color is curry yellow.
Tim Breukers – Centre Peace (at Krugerplein Amsterdam) (2020)
Picture by: GJ.van Rooij