Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

recent drawings, paintings and outsiderness 1

i'm just putting up some recent drawings. not too much commentary from me, but i will be happy with feedback. don't be surprised to see some outsiderness...

frank waaldijk: i'm in that dark place, waiting for you
i'm in that dark place, waiting for you
own work ~ 2009 ~ 35 x 50 cm ~ mixed media on paper; right-mouseclick on `view image' for a better view;

frank waaldijk: man, hands
man, hands
own work ~ 2009 ~ 35 x 50 cm ~ mixed media on paper; right-mouseclick on `view image' for a better view

frank waaldijk: notre dame des anges
notre dame des anges
own work ~ 2009 ~ 22 x 30 cm ~ mixed media on paper; right-mouseclick on `view image' for a better view

frank waaldijk: atlas in the dark
atlas in the dark
own work ~ 2009 ~ 21 x 30 cm ~ mixed media on paper; right-mouseclick on `view image' for a better view.

frank waaldijk: dancing with the deer
dancing with the deer
own work ~ 2009 ~ 30 x 21 cm ~ mixed media on paper; right-mouseclick on `view image' for a better view.

frank waaldijk: dancing together, dancing alone
dancing together, dancing alone
own work ~ 2009 ~ 21 x 30 cm ~ mixed media on paper; right-mouseclick on `view image' for a better view.

frank waaldijk: notre dame des anges at night
notre dame des anges at night
own work ~ 2003-2009 ~ 30 x 40 cm ~ acrylic on canvas; right-mouseclick on `view image' for a better view

frank waaldijk: notre dame des anges
notre dame des anges
own work ~ 2003-2009 ~ 30 x 40 cm ~ acrylic on board; right-mouseclick on `view image' for a better view

outsider art 2: adolf wölfli

much as i would like to be able to find the time to keep up this blog in a steady flow of thought, this turns out to be an illusion. the price to pay for having too much projects in my head.

snippets is what i'll be writing, just until my other blog `trijntje fop gaat op de schop' (freely translated `trijntje fop goes art, revised') is finished (see this older post on trijntje fop). and i also write a blog for my students, since i teach a course `image & world' at the unit academy in nijmegen -call it `art philosophy'-...time consuming.

anyway, here some pictures of works by famous outsider artist adolf wölfli (please read!, it saves me the writing here...):

adolf wolfli, london north
adolf wölfli, london north

adolf wolfli, general view of the island of neveranger
adolf wölfli, general view of the island of neveranger


perhaps indicative of my own outsiderness, i have always felt a strong connectedness to many works from outsider artists, also from psychiatric patients. in the next post i will turn again to some recent own work.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

outsider art 1: the outsider in art

perhaps i will launch a series of posts on outsider art, which frequently touches me. but the more direct reason for this post is my attraction to artists who paint some feeling of `outsiderness', frequently their own, frequently indirect - but how can one paint the feeling of being an outsider, if one does not feel this (or has not felt it) inside?

i recently finished a drawing which i started already long ago in 1993. below this drawing, i will post some really inspiring -to me unbelievably masterful- paintings by bosch, ensor, rembrandt, and van gogh - all from the low countries, coincidentally?

frank waaldijk, outsider
own work ~ 1993-2009 ~ 18 x 26 cm ~ mixed media on paper


some perpetual inspirations that certainly influenced me for this drawing:

hieronymus bosch, christ carrying the cross
hieronymus bosch, christ carrying the cross

this has to be one of my all-time favourite paintings. seldom have i come across sharper depiction of la condition humaine. also, here christ is depicted as the outsider. incredible composition.

i believe the following work of james ensor to have some direct connection to bosch's painting:

james ensor, self-portrait with masks
james ensor, self-portrait with masks

further comment is not really necessary, i believe. but i would like to formulate a question that springs up in me: are we seeing the unmasked or the masked painter here? anyway, to me it offers also the interpretation that we are all outsider, because we are all surrounded by people wearing masks to us...with only one exception: ourself.


then some self-portraits depicting -in my eyes- outsiderness in some way:

rembrandt, self-portraitrembrandt, self-portrait

although this is a different self-portrait, i repeat from a previous post:
a self-portrait by rembrandt on the other hand i enjoyed for something perhaps strange; it gave me the following feeling: a man looks at me, knowing i will look at him-on-canvas when he is long gone and also knowing that he is a master far ahead of his contemporaries - not per se in skill alone, but especially in vision, in artistic feeling and experiencing reality, and therefore also in rendering reality - and knowing that i will appreciate this where most of his contemporaries lack the necessary depth of development of visual/philosophical issues.

vincent van gogh, self-portrait
vincent van gogh, self-portrait

one of van gogh's many self-portraits. outsiderness to me just radiates from expression, colour, brushstrokes...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

refugee father & child

frank waaldijk, refugee father & child
refugee father & child
own work ~ 2006-2009 ~ 120 x 200 cm ~ acrylic on canvas

although i have difficulty photographing the colours adequately (they are more brilliant, especially some of the yellow) the painting speaks for itself, i believe. but perhaps i could add a few words on the themes which drove me to this work.


images of father & child are relatively rare in art. i don't think that this is a coincidence. somehow our society seems preoccupied with -in my not so humble opinion (imnsho)- silly preconceptions about woman-man differences. we have tons of `madonna-with-child'-like imagery, reflecting the cliché that children are raised by the loving care of the mother, much more than by the loving care of the father.

imnsho, we desperately need to change many of these man-woman clichés which are so dominant. a loving father's and mother's presence to me both seem essential in any upbringing - even though many of us have to do without one, the other or both.

the discrimination between the sexes is traditionally seen as holding women back from good job perspectives, economic independence, sexual independence,... but how often do we stop to consider the role patterns that hold men back from becoming loving fathers? from becoming actively involved in the raising of the children, from being a family- and community-involved person, instead of a career-, money-, power-driven one?


anyway, i think a loving, present father can be a rock of security in a child's world. a safe haven, a protector, a comforting presence.

in the painting, i was also driven by the theme of war & violence, which is so predominant in the world. we are all connected. anyone's war is our war, and our concern i believe. why do we let ourselves be driven by racism, fear, greed, violence, power?

in the refugee father, i have tried to paint this. and yet his child sleeps in his arms, feeling safe, protected, knowing the father is there. but where are the mother, and the other children?

so perhaps i should add that the father understands we cannot even protect our loved ones from the violence in this world.

Monday, October 19, 2009

bill viola in de pont, tilburg

bill viola, intimate work
yesterday we went to see the show intimate work of video artist bill viola, in museum de pont, tilburg (netherlands).

a bit to my surprise -since i generally have difficulty immersing myself in video art-i found it really interesting, and i watched most of the works from beginning to end.

my favourites were small saints, acceptance and the last angel.

bill viola, small saints
in small saints we see 6 small screens, each with a different figure. each figure is in a different time frame. each figure starts grey, jaded-photograph-like, behind a thin water screen. then comes slowly forward. the effect of brilliant colour coming to the fore as soon as the figure steps through to `our' side of the screen i found quite beautiful. clearly to me evoking a reference to the way we are born, and then live in a limited time frame, after which we fade away once again in oblivion. (the figures step back, the colour is gone, the figure walks and fades away). and these timeframes do not coincide, although there is some overlap sometimes. (i couldn't find an image which really portrays the work as i describe it.)

bill viola, acceptance
acceptance looks similar, in a way, but remains black-and-white. a naked woman slowly slowly and blurredly appears, until she (too) steps slowly through a thin waterscreen. crying, wailing. but especially the way viola uses the water screen to send light around the woman's body is simply wonderful. and then the way in which she (again) steps back and fades away, ever more blurry is really very special. i'm less impressed with the crying and wailing, and other facial expressions but that is simply my prejudice against acting for themes like this.

bill viola, acceptance
the last angel is more abstract, and for that reason perhaps my most favourite. because i found it to be a very subtly coloured, multilayered study of water, playing with different aspects of video itself too...really wonderful.

anyway, i advise you to go to any such show of viola's work. here a link to bill viola's website

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

beauty & the beholder: picasso in cathedrale d'images

beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

and there is -my grumblings aside- still a lot of beauty to be discovered in art, and in contemporary art.

for me personally however, i find that i seldom have this breathtaking experience anymore, that i sometimes had when younger, on encountering some (for me) extraordinary piece of art.

not that i have lost the experience altogether, it just has become quite exceptional. so it was a real pleasure to rediscover it at the cathedrale d'images in les baux de provence (south of france), in the light show dedicated to picasso.

the show, taking place all days this year 2009, is displayed inside the completely darkened old bauxite mine, and is accompanied by various pieces of music. it is looped, and takes around 50 minutes from beginning to end. i watched it twice, and i thought it was amazing. on all the walls of the mine as well as on the floors, simultaneously, images are projected, accompanied by very suitable music.

the directors/artists obviously have taken a lot of time to consider how to present and to transform picasso's imagery into a spatial and sensory experience. (they are named on the cathedrale website: gianfranco iannuzzi, renato gatto, massimiliano siccardi and marco melia)

if by chance you are anywhere in the neighborhood, don't miss it!

cathedrale d'images, pablo picasso
(right mouse click `view image' for a better view)

i was taken to the show by the excellent guide barbara dumont, a national tour guide for france and fluent in four languages. warmly recommended.

Monday, September 28, 2009

inside the commercial zone: contemporary art bubble?

last night i saw the documentary the great contemporary art bubble (for a trailer see here on youtube by ben lewis.

lewis tells an interesting story, which clearly touches on many the same issues regarding money & art as this blog.

i'm not in a position to verify, understand or even judge all the financial mechanisms behind contemporary art. what nonetheless becomes clear is that the contemporary art world is obsessed with and dominated by money considerations.

moreover, the picture emerging from the documentary is clear enough:

* we are letting a very small number of people determine what supposedly is `the best' in contemporary art.
* these people include influential gallery holders and museum curators/directors
* another important subgroup are the rich investors and collectors, and the influential auction houses
* the contemporary art market runs in the billions of euros (109=billion)
* society pays along in various ways: by buying art for museums with public money, and through various tax deduction schemes
* there is little objective outside control over the art market
* there are few objective outside quality/reality checks as to whether `the best' in contemporary art is more than just a small group of people's temporary fancy combined with a small group of people's multimillions' worth of financial stakes.


but now the real question: so what? the contemporary art market can hardly be as corrupt as the financial markets, and we couldn't even be bothered about them before the whole thing came crashing down. for any artist out there trying to create her/his own work (as contrasted to the damien hirsts who have studios filled with employees to produce `their' art) my advice would be:

just create, to the best of your ability. let the rich play, and be glad your work is not being treated like a stock commodity, but hangs instead in a normal living room, where it is loved by the people who bought it.


some interesting comments on the documentary can be found here, here (scroll down to `the mugrabis respond to my film') and here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

street art 3: outside the commercial zone

on a more positive note (as compared to my usual rants against commercialism): i came across this wonderful sculpture in nijmegen:

street art in nijmegen, picture by blog author
unknown-to-me street artist, unknown-to-me title

constructed strangely against the remaining wall of a torn down house, the sculpture just is. i couldn't find any reference to indicate either maker or title. though it struck me as simple fun from a sculptural point of view, i found it to represent a very refreshing and vitalizing remembrance of art for the sake of art.

ohhh auldfashioned...but i mean art not for the sake of ART (in capitals, destined for museums, money, jetset, prestige, grandeur, really deep you know especially if you don't get it) but for the sake of art. where art stands for the expression of the human soul in visual terms. or something like that.

without regard for NAME, FAME, etc. and therefore logically anonymous (see previous posts on anonymous art - use the search function of this blog at the top of the page).

in my not so humble opinion, these anonymous street artists have a real message. i believe it concerns the freedom of the human spirit. and that there is always a way to create meaning outside of the commercial zone.

Monday, July 13, 2009

art & entertainment: kunstweek 2009

to continue from the previous post, i remember writing in my comment last year, that the borders between art and entertainment are fading rapidly.

and, the applause machine for this development is being cranked to the highest level. only natural, when one understands the mechanisms behind this. these mechanisms are many and varying in nature.

but a main ingredient is that smart marketing of a relatively shallow product gives a great yield. which is why so much effort is put in the marketing, especially when compared to the product being marketed.
which is why on our television sets we see channel after channel filled with the same rather meaningless entertainment programmes, and we have to search hard among our 100 channels to find serious and well-researched documentaries. [later comment: i must have been in a negative mood writing this - recently i saw various very good documentaries!]

in art, there used to be an added complication. namely the pretention that art is somehow `deep' and `meaningful' and `important commentary on society' etc. etc. etc. but, as we progress, this pretention can surely be dropped. more and more we see that art is being presented as `cultural business'. in the netherlands (as elsewhere i'm sure, since the netherlands never dare to take up a serious frontline position in the arts) the word `cultural entrepreneur' is being advocated instead of `visual artist'.

we are condoning the usurpation of art by business types, money makers and managers. we are more and more sponsoring entertainment which is presented as art, with funds which should [could at least, to be less morally pressuring] be used to create some depths in our modern culture. depths which the entertainment machine will never create, because the effort-yield ratio is too low in business terms.

the running example: kunstweek 2009 (dutch `art week') not only organizes a largely pre-arranged election, but in order to gain momentum -which means enough participants in the election, since success in the entertainment industry is always measured in audience numbers- they offer prizes which can be won if you vote.

and then they dare say (again i translate literally from their website):

Question: Which criteria determine whether an artist is good or not?
Answer: Much can be said on the creative and artistic value of art [sic!], except that it can be measured with concrete norms. There are no conceivable absolute norms for the appreciation of art, neither the market value nor the artistic value. But even if the quality of art cannot be quantified, the resonance and the appreciation can. And that is the goal of the election!

notice, that first they say that there are no conceivable absolute norms for the appreciation of art, and then one sentence later they say that the appreciation of art can be quantified...i'm not joking!

such quantification is even the very goal of the election, they say.

i'm sorry. words fail me. good luck, brave new entertainment world. i always thought art was about something else. perhaps we can invent a new word for artists like me, meaning something like `silly old romantic strugglers with paint, colour, form, life, depth, nature, human existence, beauty'?

better still: let's organize an election for such a word!!! the best word -to be judged by a panel of experts from the advertisement industry- will win the 10,000 easels which were used in the interactive art work `we are all artists' which won the heineken art festival 2009!!! (`we are all artists' is a work by by cultural entrepreneur ralf kwaaknijd in which on a large public square 10,000 people (selected through an internet election) paint a collective portrait of our queen, which is 100 x 100 pixels. each canvas is approximately 20 x 20 cm, the completed portrait measures 20 m x 20 m.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

kunstweek 2009 (revisited, art & quality 16)

last year i wrote this about a relatively new initiative in the netherlands called `kunstweek' (art week):

since about 5 yrs in the netherlands there is an initiative `kunstweek' (art week), which more or less out of the blue claims an election of `dutch artist of the year' (kunstenaar van het jaar).

of course, this has to be a joint effort from `public' (read internet) and `experts'. this year's expert panel contains some 100 names, with ... 0 visual artists among them. i am not joking, but it is all the more funny!

this is just to illustrate my point that artists have been manouvered to a secondary position when it comes to valuation of art. museum directors, journalists, curators, gallery owners, art historians...pull the strings.

can one expect alternative insights from such an election? or will it all be about artists already `discovered' getting some extra gpr...i leave to the reader to guess and smile.

after i wrote this, i immediately got a rather negative comment from the director of this art week, claiming that i had made many mistakes. however, as i pointed out all the information that i used came directly from the website of i got no reaction whatsoever. see my original post with comments

why bring this up? well, again the generalized pagerank (gpr) machine for promoting the art elite is running, and i'm getting emails and other messages regarding `kunstweek 2009' and another election of `dutch visual artist of the year'.

so, naturally, i looked to see if perhaps this year the panel of experts which selected the 90 eligible artists contains any visual artists... this year they say, and i quote literally from (in translation):

Question: can I become a member of the expert panel?
Answer: Yes, you can, if you have a professional relationship with art and you are not a visual artist. The expert panel consists of around 100 museum directors, art critics, art collectors, conservators, art teachers from art college, and other art experts.

well, then please explain to me why my post above was inaccurate?

dear artists and other art lovers, truth has its own particular ring to it. the interesting question then becomes: why is it so unwelcome, the observation that artists are systematically manouvered into a secondary position? why try and deny this?

this is undoubtedly connected to the observation that on the societal level, quality & art are determined by elite positions, which are strongly protected. a reason why i am really happy with the internet and the blog opportunities, because now at least it is possible to voice dissent, and be heard. before internet, also the publishing opportunities were controlled by the elite.

generalized open source. open publishing opportunities. i sincerely hope that this will bring about a change in the art world and outside of it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

woman, man 6 (spirituality, adam and eve continued)

frank waaldijk, eve and adam separated by the roots of knowledge

eve and adam separated by the roots of knowledge (own work, 2009, 21 x 30 cm, mixed media on paper)

just to keep the blog rolling a bit, one of today's drawings. the colours not totally accurate, perhaps i should try my old canon, see if it captures the colours better [have done so now, it is indeed a bit better].

this separation of woman and man sometimes really bugs me. it even seems totally normal that people divide humanity in two, drawing a big `thou shalt not cross' line between men and women. whereas gender is to me just an attribute, which when unemphasized leaves women and men the same: human.

gender discrimination seems so deeply rooted, and works both ways (in spite of what is popular belief these days, namely that only the women are being discriminated against). to me it seems that we all lose from these mechanisms.

strangely enough, i also drew a picture of a pregnant woman today...don't know if this logically fits what i wrote above.

frank waaldijk, expecting woman

expecting woman (own work, 2009, 21 x 30 cm, mixed media on paper)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

horse figurines 2: mali

looked for horse figurines on the web, and came across these right away:

horse figurines from mali
horse figurines from mali (ceramic, national museum of mali, period unknown, 15-30 cm)

well. if i ever needed some confirmation that something african seeped into my sculpture...! and aren't they just lovely?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

horse figurine

as promised somewhere in an earlier post, i'm putting up some pictures of a horse statuette -now owned by a friend and recently loaned to me for a showing in st. anthonis- which i made around 2001, and which sparked my practice of painting sculptures.

(looking at the pictures now, i'm reminded that of my earlier feelings that this figurine would look good on a larger scale also.)

horse figurine, right view, frank waaldijk 2001horse (own work ~ 20 x 14 x 6 cm ~ clay, acrylic ~ 2001)

horse figurine, left view, frank waaldijk 2001

horse figurine, right back view, frank waaldijk 2001

horse figurine, left front view, frank waaldijk 2001

horse figurine, right front view, frank waaldijk 2001

Saturday, June 20, 2009

flamingo man: art appropriation taken too far?

flamingo man, ralf kwaaknijd & unknown nigerian artistralf kwaaknijd, flamingo man (45 x 10 x 10 cm, wood & flamingo feather, 2009)

ok, one might ask, what is art appropriation? well, see wikipedia:
In the [(visual arts)], to appropriate something means adopting, borrowing, recycling or sampling aspects (or the entire form) of man made visual culture. The Oxford English Dictionary defines appropriation in relation to art as 'the practice or technique of reworking the images or styles contained in earlier works of art, esp. (in later use) in order to provoke critical re-evaluation of well-known pieces by presenting them in new contexts, or to challenge notions of individual creativity or authenticity in art.". The term appropriation refers to the use of borrowed elements in the creation of a new work (as in 'the artist uses appropriation') or refers to the new work itself (as in 'this is a piece of appropriation art'). The artist who uses appropriation may borrow image, sound, objects, forms or styles from art history or [(popular culture)] or other aspects of man made visual culture. Inherent in the process of appropriation is the fact that the new work recontextualizes whatever it borrows to create the new work. In most cases the original 'thing' remains accessible as the original, without change.

so i bought the above flamingo man by ralf kwaaknijd, at a friend's price and therefore dirt cheap actually, as a treat and to inspire me in my new studio (see previous post).

but i have to say, i'm irritated by flamingo man even though i know i'm being played by kwaaknijd to provoke just such irritation. this is very irritating also, to say the least.

kwaaknijd plays with appropriation, as other contemporary artists also do, some all the time, some sometimes. but in this case he might be going a step too far, i think. he took a beautiful, poetic, introspective nigerian sculpture of a man (unknown tribal artist, although he tells me is still researching its origin and will attribute better once he knows more) and simply stuck a flamingo feather in his hand. to then claim it as his own work.

there is more to this than meets the eye, because i confronted ralf about this. i put to him that i found this appropriation to be an extra theft, on top of the already physical theft of an enormous amount of african art by western collectors. (see my previous posts on tribal art). and in fact a theft of a worse kind. because now kwaaknijd also claims the artistic credit, one would say the one inappropriatable element left the original artist.

however kwaaknijd at once responded to me by email, and gave permission to reproduce his reply here:

Dear Frank, you still don't get it do you? Flamingo man is precisely a statement about the theft of art from the `primitive' cultures - so `primitive' that Picasso, Giacometti, you name it, all took their forms and ideas and became famous with them.

Apart from the purely visual beauty of flamingo man (you will have to admit that the feather is transformative!) I wished to demonstrate that one can steal easily from the unknown `tribal' artist. (S)he cannot protect her/himself. One buys a sculpture, and the material possession opens up a can of worms of artist's rights' infringements.
Perhaps you will recall the utterly shaming history of the song the lion sleeps tonight? Please look it up to see what I mean (I even saw an American performer claiming it as his own in some historic footage, but I don't recall precisely where).

Yet, flamingo man can actually help by drawing attention to this, I feel. So yes, you are right, appropriation a step too far, that is precisely the idea. But I do not wish to profit from it. And since I appreciate you taking the time to really reflect on my work, if you wish I will sell it to you for the price that I paid for the sculpture, the flamingo feather you get for free.

This way you can own a real Kwaaknijd, and maybe reappropriate it!

Kind regards, Ralf

so now i'm the proud and somewhat ambivalent owner of `flamingo man'. the hell of it is, i have to admit that the flamingo feather is transformative, yet i'm still irritated by kwaaknijd's `easy' claiming of the work. perhaps i'm being too calvinist, feeling that art can only come about by putting in a lot of effort, or maybe i'm just jealous of this postpostmodern hype.

anyway, i'm really glad with flamingo man. to look at a sculpture like that, originating from my great inspiration: african sculpture! it feels wonderful to have it in my studio for daily looking at it.

new studio!

new painting studio

yes i have a new studio, for painting! i'm really happy with it. i still have a small studio in the back of our garden, but we will be using it as a small home office for the next year or so. (the new studio is temporary, might also last two years though).

southern light...supposedly not the best, but with a wonderful skylight, and on the first floor with unobstructed windows...quiet atmosphere, some friendly other artists, and of course my sculpture workshop in the same building. well, what more could one wish for?

took this picture when i had just put in a few things. bit more organized now, but i intend to keep it very empty. beautiful acoustics too, for guitar playing...

and if you look carefully, you will see that i treated myself to a sculpture too (a ralf kwaaknijd! see next post).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

street art 2: recognition, appreciation

see the one-but-previous post. [and see -of course- the wikipedia entry on street art.]

if you take the time to view the video, you might come across some very intriguing art works. i'm often amazed at what i see on the street. apart from the obvious artistry, there's a lot of hard work and dedication going into many of these works.

i don't mean this as a general tribute to every tag and graffiti-like work (because there are many less appealing ones, perhaps even the majority, i'm not keeping score since i tend to ignore what doesn't appeal).

but i would like to thank all those anonymous artists which really put in their talent, time and effort to produce their art on the streets.

you might want to read this article on street art in sweden [link is now defunct, 2014] by nicholas claude, who is also the photographer of the picture below:

street art in stockholm, photo by nicholas claude

the article discusses pros and contras, since many people experience street art as defacing and/or damaging of property. perhaps i will return to this in later posts. [postscript 2014: the article has been removed and is completely unfindable].

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

mary & jesus on the road to damascus

mary & jesus on the road to damascus; own work 2008
mary & jesus on the road to damascus (own work, 21 x 30 cm, mixed media on paper, 2008)

coming from a christian culture, which produced a lot of beautiful art works centered around mary and jesus (my favourites especially are the mare de déu sculptures from catalunya), i find myself creating art works which draw on that tradition. they should not be seen as religious - i'm personally not a fan of whatsoever religion- but rather as a link to a universal spirituality which binds us all.

to be continued.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

street art 1: graffiti in eindhoven

i ain't gonna say shit dude. just click the flick.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

trees, hills

trees, hills; own work 2009
trees, hills (own work, 80 x 110 cm, acrylic and ink on canvas, 2009)

just a new painting, which i'll be showing in an upcoming short exhibition. i also managed to take some pictures of a statuette which i borrowed back from the owner, i think i might put them up also.

see previous two posts: my trijntje-fop-blog is still taking up most of my writing energy, sorry. i managed to revise around 55 of the around 160 trijntje fop poems now, that means i'm going to be tied up quite some time still to come. but i'm strangely satisfied with these light poems, with all their connotations and (hyper)links to the art world and beyond.

Friday, March 20, 2009

on a bonobo and a chimpanzee (see previous post)

on a bonobo and a chimpanzee

did artist yoko bonobo
completely out of mikado
construct for hiroshige's lobster
`jacuzzi with yakuza mobster'?

the ape clams up mysteriously
but still complains imperiously
`they never take me seriously'

chimp saatchi: `who knows? years ago
she built in downtown tokyo
her christ in tub with giorgio
committing in this spirito
artistic harachirico'

utagawa hiroshige, two shrimp and a lobster
utagawa hiroshige, 2 shrimp and a lobster

giorgio de chirico, christ and the storm
giorgio de chirico, christ and the storm

giorgio de chirico, mystery and melancholy of a street
giorgio de chirico, mystery and melancholy of a street

yoko ono, touch me

yoko ono: once partner of john lennon, bonobo: great ape, jacuzzi: warmwater whirlpool, yakuza: japanese mafia, mobster: mafioso, charles saatchi: owner of saatchi gallery, harakiri: ritual japanese suicide

for this trijntje fop some background on de chirico is useful, see an essay by robert hughes

above a typical example (or non-typical since it is in english) of what i've been working on. silly light verse, but with lots of art pictures and art references, also largely as a hommage to the many artists who have inspired me.

Friday, February 27, 2009

trijntje fop goes art

sorry to not have posted any more recently. there was a reason, pretty predictable: i'm writing on another blog called trijntje fop gaat op de schop. a crazy undertaking, to be honest. mostly silly rhymes, mostly in dutch, mostly about art, in a style called `trijntje fop'

trijntje fop is a nom de plume of the dutch poet kees stip (1913-2001). the name is currently used to describe light poetry with the following style characteristics :
  1. light!

  2. see 1.

  3. about 1 or more animals (`on a ...' ) with typical human characteristics - as in de la fontaine's work.

  4. abundance of spoonerisms.

  5. 2 to ... lines, mostly 6 lines in aabbcc form.

the name trijntje fop itself was taken from multatuli (pseudonym of eduard douwes dekker), from his magistral ideas- when will these be translated in english? i'm flabbergasted to be unable to locate a translation. here a link to a commented, wonderful complete online edition of multatuli's ideas in dutch by philosopher maarten maartensz.

in one of the continuing stories (between ideas) master pennewip reads and comments on poems of his children. one of them is trijntje fop, with a short and very simple verse:

Tryntje Fop, op haar muts

Ik heet Tryntje Fop
En heb een muts op myn kop.

(Tryntje Fop, on her cap

I'm called Tryntje Fop
And have a cap on my head.)

pennewip's commentary is very memorable. multatuli was a great modernizer of language, i have tried to retain that spirit also.

in the next post i will give an example of my `trijntje fop goes art' in english. not the best and not all that accessible to a lay person, but it gives an inkling of what i've been working on in this past month of silence.

actually i'm revising the lot of around 160 poems, and this for me is a gargantuan task. although not as bad as writing them in the first place, which took two years.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

fashion & art 2: vincent van gogh continued

ok. having posted the previous painting wheat field under thunderclouds i cannot leave out its famous sibling:

vincent van gogh, wheat field with crows, 1890

vincent van gogh, wheat field with crows (1890)

van gogh's works were not the fashion during his lifetime. he could not sell his paintings (i believe he sold just one painting during his life), but other artists recognized his genius. after his death, his paintings quickly gained reputation. vincent to me is probably the antinomy of fashion and contemporary fashion-like art.

theorem: (ralf kwaaknijd, 2008)

the fashionality in contemp art is largely due to the relativistic opportunism of postmodernism.

proof: we leave the proof as an exercise to the reader.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

fashion & art 1: vincent van gogh

frequently i find myself being old-fashioned. i suppose it has to do with my distaste of fashion. distaste of fashion? yes, you read correctly.

it's not that i dislike nice clothes, or that i dislike contemporary creativity. i dislike the enormous marketing component, the money machine which drives our fashions. not only in clothing, but also very prominently in contemporary art.

with the communication speed of the modern world, new newer newest cannot go fast enough. to maintain the illusion of `important buzz', the marketeers in fashion (and art and any other field) have to convince us time and again that `new' equals `better'.

please don't misunderstand me with regard to (post)(post)modern art. personally i feel that a much larger art world has been opened up to us in the past century, for which i'm grateful. but on considering which art works from this period i find exceptionally moving, seems to me that these works breathe the same qualities as the exceptionally moving art works from earlier times.

there is something timeless about these works. they and `fashion' are definitely not in the same existence plane.

vincent van gogh, wheat field under thunderclouds, 1890

vincent van gogh, wheat field under thunderclouds (1890)

Monday, February 2, 2009

entombment series inspired by rembrandt 10, 11 (end)

frank waaldijk, entombment 10 (inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

entombment 10 (own work, 2006, 70 x 50 cm, inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

frank waaldijk, entombment 11 (inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

entombment 11 (own work, 2006, 70 x 50 cm, inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

above are the last two drawings in the series, no further comment on them. i hope to have brought readers some insight in how works develop over time, and how old masters inspire. now it's time for other subjects.

entombment series inspired by rembrandt 8, 9

frank waaldijk, entombment 8 (inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

entombment 8 (own work, 2006, inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

continuing from the previous post. from here on i feel the theme has reached the level that i'm looking for. detail below:

frank waaldijk, detail of entombment 8 (inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

entombment 8 (detail, own work, 2006, inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

the next drawing really comes from the subconscious levels, i honestly have no idea how this type of drawing comes into existence, it just happens.

frank waaldijk, entombment 9 (inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

entombment 9 (own work, 2006, 50 x 35 cm, inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

and a detail:

frank waaldijk, detail of entombment 8(inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

entombment 9 (detail, own work, 2006, inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

entombment series inspired by rembrandt 5, 6, 7

frank waaldijk, entombment 5(inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

entombment 5 (own work, 2006, inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

continuing from the previous post. it is probably more prudent from the marketing perspective to not show less-than-perfect studies, but so what. i thought it might be interesting to show a bit how themes develop, and in all my themes there are a fair percentage of works that don't `work' enough on the levels in which i'm interested.

from this point on the format in the series is no longer only a4 (21 x 30 cm).

frank waaldijk, entombment 6(inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

entombment 6 (own work, 2006, 45 x 35 cm, inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

frank waaldijk, entombment 7(inspired by a rembrandt drawing)

entombment 7 (own work, 2006, 40 x 50 cm, inspired by a rembrandt drawing)