Marcel van den Berg, Amsterdam (NL). www.mvandenb.com
My studio is located in Kruitberg, which is one of the flats that got hit by a plane back in 1992. As you can see it’s winter now, but I’ve heard that in the summertime people barbeque on this field. I’d love to eat one of them roasted chicken wings in the afternoon sun of late June. Can’t wait…
“Natural Black Far From Reality” Ink and gesso on paper, 200 x 150 cm, 2015
Lotta de Beus, Amsterdam (NL). www.lotta.nl
During the day I look into the Vliegenbos in Amsterdam Noord. There is a big factory next to this studiocomplex and often gusts of smoke float over and between the trees. In the night it is a mysterious world on itself. When I sleep over in my studio, the light of this lamppost always peeps through the luxaflex. Dark and light are very important elements in my work.
Carton Noir, acrylics on canvas, 200x160cm, 2014.
F.F. van de Woestijne, Amsterdam (NL). www.iamyourgallery.com
I am so fortunate as to be able to walk from my apartment straight into my studio, both located in the middle of Amsterdam. It has split levels, plenty of windows and space and a high ceiling.
The area I use for my paintings is at street level. The windows here are covered with misty transparent paper, topped off with blinds. Why? To keep the outside spectators at a distance, so I can work in peace.
Portrait painting is what I do mostly at the moment. My models are imaginary, taken from every kind of source. I try to imagine how to ‘handle’ them, really get to know them and build some kind of relationship. Once that is established I start painting.
When I am finished doing a number of paintings I exhibit them in groups of 3 or 4, in such a way that a single new portrait or representation emerges.
I’m really happy with my studio and try to use it in as many ways as possible.
E.g. every once in a while I change it into a pop-up kind of gallery, or I organize a show for a weekend, presenting artists from my immediate surroundings. It’s worth the hassle, you learn a lot, and very rewarding.
If I want to enjoy the view outside I move to the upper level of my studio. It is a place to ponder, listen to music and watch my paintings from a distance.
Oil on jatoba wood approx. 30 x 40 cm
Aram Tanis, Amsterdam (NL). www.aramtanis.com
In Tanis’ work Isolation, standardization and the mass-produced are important themes. He also thinks it is important to make people aware and confront them with subjects they often pass by or ignore.
Important motifs in Tanis’ work are the buildings and the urban landscape. They both are a symbol of what is happening in the world. In our society there is less time for one another and people are more distant. The repetition and rhythm of the recurring form in buildings and neighborhoods are a symbol for the anonymity of the contemporary urban environment and the isolation of the people who live in it. It can also be seen as a critique on the mass produced. For this theme Tanis has worked in Beijing, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Las Vegas, Macau, Shanghai, Tokyo and all over Korea over the last thirteen years.
Tanis’ work about people, animals or everyday objects refer also to this theme. He wants to show the less attractive side of (family) life. The media inundates us with sex and stereotypes. People need to meet a certain standard to be found ‘beautiful’. One must keep a certain lifestyle, which is ‘accepted’ and ‘normal’. The media determines what is beautiful and how people judge things. It provides a standardization in society, from identical shopping malls to the ‘idealization’ of the human body. Tanis wants to show the other side and go beyond the façade.
Almost blue, photography, 2012
Leon Willigendael, Amsterdam (NL). www.willigendael.eu
I worked for thirty years on this canvas, since 1989 in a Amsterdam studio that I moved out on the first of May, 2014.
Time and death did not enable me to show the finished work to… two of my closest old friends. Both died recently. One of them, painter Jaap de Vries, commented on the palm garden in front of the studio building: ‘I know you would prefer some ancient Chinese landscape, but this weird courtyard is much closer to that unborn canvas. Even violence and beauty have changed, and maybe it’s all about the impossibility of finishing.’
H.E.A.R.T.[H.] Oil on canvas, 140×190 cm. 1984-2014