Portraits of artists. International artists week, Nieuw Herlaer.
‘The boat resembles the journey of life’
In Chile, Lorenzo Moya (38) belongs to the twenty most leading artists of the new generation.
In most of his paintings we find women in the leading part. "Because they are beautiful and play an important role in my life. They have something holy." In the works he painted this week, boats have a notable place. The childs drawing -a simple house- was placed as the sail of a boat in one of the paintings, the boat in this painting is not sailing but flying. "It resembles the journey of life," according to Moya. From the large pile of children’s paintings he picked out especially this one, "the brushstrokes are so wide and powerful, probably as powerful as the wish of the child to live in a house. That is also why I called the painting 'The Strong Dream.'"
About Paint-a-Future: "It's a fantastic idea. It is important to assure that the project has a future on the long run. Therefore not only good artists are needed, but also sponsors and buyers. Perhaps more Hetty's are needed, because what she is doing is really special."
‘We are all in the same boat’
Aleksandrr Zvjagin’s (57) work is colourful, figurative and is full of symbolism. He includes many godly figures in his work, which adds some serenity to the whole. Art for him is holy, "in a way or another everything is connected to god", according to the Russian artist. In his art he uses the most diverse techniques and materials and he lets himself be lead from high above. "What comes from my hands, is given to me from above. It comes straight from my heart." In one of his paintings for Paint-a-Future a boat with four holy female figures is portrayed. According to Zvjagin "we are all in the same boat to find our way in life."
About Paint-a-Future: "Hetty is someone that not only talks, she also makes things happen. It's amazing that a woman like Hetty exists, she gives her heart and soul for these kids. In the end we are all children from God."
‘Trough matter somewhere something is enlightened’
Abstract with a trace of poetry, vulnerability and subtle humour, or lyricly abstract. That is Anna Verrijt’s (53) style. Her work is typified by monumentality, often in the form of plains, that can be ‘read’ as a sort of comic. “Because life is full of stories and contradictions, with a light and a dark side. The dark side I want to make lighter and viceversa,” tells Verrijt. The heaviness of this magnificence is broken through by tender lines. This is how she incorporated two dancing women in her paintings. Verrijt want to bring consolation with her art. Many times in the form of little angels as messengers, that are not recognised as such. “The angel for me is the symbol of consolation and lightness. She is earthly and heavenly at the same time.”
About Paint-a-Future: “This project was made for me. It creates lines through the whole world. Through matter something is enlightened and I want to contribute to that very eagerly.”
‘The world has not changed much over the centuries’
The political and religious problems in the world are a big source of inspiration for Bruno Paladin (54). Compared with the old ages the present society does not differ a lot. “The world has not changed over the centuries. Chaos is still present. In fact there is a new Babylon,” says Paladin. This ever existing chaos forms the concept of the Croatian artist. In one of his paintings for Paint-a-Future, the yellow and red drawing of the Argentinean boy Rafael forms a lighting point in the darkness. The painting was titled ‘Light of Hope.’
About Paint-a-Future: “The Lions Club in Croatia, of which I am a member, had a similar idea for the Croatian children. Hetty now brings this idea broader into the world. We were able to load up our batteries this week in order to use our energy for the future of these children.”
‘A painting is meant for the eyes’
Humanly figures in a spatial, surrealistic surrounding determine the face of Claudio Palcic’s (65) work.
It’s a mix of abstract, figurative and suggestive art. The characters dive as it were into the colours, as a result of which they incorporate into their surroundings. As a starting point Palcic always uses a pencil sketch, that gradually fades away and thus forms a symbiosis with the colourful background. The artist’s point is not to tell a story with his art. “A painting is destined for the eyes of the beholder and not meant to be ‘read’ as literature,” he thinks. The girl that made the drawing directly attracted him. “The first thing that caught my attention was her name: Genesis, a big name in contrast with the small, fragile girl”, explains Palcic.
About Paint-a-Future: “An initiative that has to be continued worldwide. It is important, also as an artist, to be concerned with other people en most of all with children. Because we all take part in the circle of life.”
‘With positive energy something changes in the world’
Earth, water, air and fire form the basic elements in Dagmar Dost-Nolden’s work. Her style is abstract, it reflects movement, power, space and emotion. She loves transparency and structure in her work, with which she wants to reproduce energy in all its dimensions. “Life is composed of energy that brings us into motion,” according to Dost-Nolden. The paintings she made for Paint-a-Future reflect positive energy. “Because it is not only my work, but also that of a kid. A kid wants to be free, wants to fly like a bird.” In one of her canvases the artist incorporated a drawing where a kid is portrayed with open arms. “Ready to receive love,” according to Dost-Nolden. “With positive energy in the form of love something changes in the world.”
About Paint-a-Future: “It is unbelievable that someone can do this with art. The project needs above all art, with which we can reach the children on an energetic level.”
‘The flower is the symbol of life’
Gianni Borta is one of the leading Italian artists of his generation. In his flowerful canvases the children’s drawings are unrecognizable. This is a conscious decision, he explains: “The child’s and the flower’s heart are united into one entity.” With his art, Gianni, - who rather talks about exposing his art for 42 years instead of revealing his age- in first place, wants to propagate a positive feeling. Flowers that literally grow from the canvas, play a significant role. “The flower that renovates itself is the essence of nature. In fact it’s the symbol of life”, according to Borta, who is also known as the ‘Italian Karel Appel.’
About Paint-a-Future: “This project is like a modern fairytale. People with such social awareness as Hetty are nowadays very hard to find. The idea of her project can be compared to finding a four-leaf clover.”
‘My work is about the inner world’
In her paintings, Gloria Zoitl (60) tells about the relation between men and women. “In fact its about life itself, about the inner world of human beings.” Besides human beings, Christian and fairytale like figures such as the drake play an important role. They are the symbol of the inner world. The human figures in her colourful paintings are always nude, in this way the purity of the inner is reproduced at its best. She names her work both humoristic and erotic. “And it has something child like simple,” she thinks. “The child’s drawing that I chose, is as far as style goes similar to mine.”
About Paint-a-Future: “As a therapist I have worked with children for twenty years. My life as an artist took place in a different world. In this project these two separate worlds are united for me.”
‘This is art with a capital a’
Hetty van der Linden
Hetty van der Linden (59) is internationally acclaimed for her lively and figurative art. With a lot of colour and dancing lines she brings the people and animals to life in her paintings, as if the characters where to be in a movie. They are in the bloom of their life and radiate happiness. By their gestures, movements and surroundings they bring about emotions in which the public can identify itself. According to the New York Magazine “this is what makes this Dutch artist such a special talent.” “In a time where a lot of art has strayed from it’s roots, Hetty brings the personal element back in expressionism.”
About Paint-a-Future: ‘In fact it is no big deal to make children paint their dreams for the future, certainly not in places where there is so much to dream about. But what these artists have produced with these paper childdreams is not only art with a capital a; its also an expression of a deep feeling of solidarity.”
‘The trick is to see beauty in everything’
For Jaan Elken (51) everything is a source of inspiration. “The trick is to see beauty in everything, even in mud or a dirt road. This way I sabotage beauty and I choose to show ugliness. In fact everything is magical. It’s all about the inner feeling; that is what I want to show with my art.” The fact that his parents were deported to Siberia in 1939 and that he spent the first three years of his life there, still influences his work. In his art he recycles different materials, such as a in pieces cut linen potato bag. A painting he created this week contains a yellow drawing from a child. Normally he doesn’t use yellow dyes, but the energy from this drawing caught his attention. “The style of this drawing is similar to mine and has been united into this canvas.”
About Paint-a-Future: “I hope a private project like this can last for very long. I that case it is a win-win situation. For us it’s a way to meet fellow artists and simultaneously we can help children create a better future. You cannot change the world, but surely we can contribute towards the right direction.”
‘We all have something to tell’
Lone Seeberg (41) wants to tell a story with her paintings. “If I wouldn’t have become an artist, probably I would have been a writer,” she says. Through these stories she wants to give something of herself in her paintings. “We all have something to tell, simply because we are human beings. This is what brings us together.” The painting named ‘Lovechild’ tells the story of an Argentinian child that made a drawing of himself in between his parents. The ernormous heart upon the childs head symbolises the wish to survive. “Children are pure and reflect pure love. This way the kid connects his parents.”
About Paint-a-Future: “Art is not just about making your own paintings. It is a way to bring something into motion in the world. As if you throw a stone in the water and the rings keep on spreading away. In essence everything is connected to each other.”
‘I make use of all thinkable colours’
Over the years Manfred Mayerle´s (66) work has gradually become more abstract. Nowadays he only works with colours and lines as a theme. He doesn’t prefer any colour. “I love red, but I use any thinkable colour, “ tells Mayerle. “What I use is determined by my belly, it doesn’t come from my head. “Producing a painting the German artist describes as a long process. By applying the different colours layer by layer, they are visibly present throughout one by one. The red canvas where Mayerle incorporated the drawing of the girl named Paola, resembles a flying carpet. “Such a young, shy girl must have the opportunity to live her dreams. “
About Paint-a-Future: “This is a very interesting project that has to be continued. In order to guarantee quality and continuity on the long run, it is crucial to include distinguished artists.”
‘Emotions are the essence of life’
Marina Banic Zrinscak
The art of Marina Banic Zrinscak (45) is very intimate. From time to time she changes themes, technique and material, because ‘she wants to gain new experiences with painting.’ After the ‘personal altar’ as a theme, faces in the form of selfportraits play the leading role in her work. “If I paint 6 billion portraits, the chances that the only person on earth choses the one that suits him most are very high,” according to Marina. “Though we are all different beings, in the basis we are all similar. That is the message in my work. Firstly I want to pass on emotions, because they are the essence of life.”
About Paint-a-Future: “This is really something spectacular, however people often relate this to material things. In this case its all about love for children. What we have done here is something small for us and very big for them.”
‘Painting is a journey through life’
Milly Lopez (53) wants to show the ‘spirit’ of life with her art. “Everyone has a mission in his life. The intention is to be conciously and actively busy with this idea. For me its a challenge to express that in my work.” As a relatively young artist she already developped her own style. “Its important to have continuity in your style without limiting yourself. This way painting becomes a journey through life,” the in Amsterdam based Lopez says. Matter, structure, transparency and layers are the most important elements in her work. In her paintings she incorporated the drawing of Efrain, an Argentinian boy addicted to glue. “In spite of his difficult life, the drawing with dancing puppets reflects cheerfulness.”
About Paint-a-Future: “We need a lot of people like Hetty in this world. The humanitarian aspect is the most important in this project. By giving you get something back and that is for all of us enrichening.”
‘We are the space in which we live’
Natasha Milovancev's (38) architectonic background is clearly recognized in her compositions, which are distinguished by depth. Sober colours, tight lines and elements such as darkness and light determine the atmosphere. It is as if she dives into her paintings, where space, in an emotional and physical way, is always the starting-point. "We are the space in which we live and vice versa," she explains. "We are born in a defined space, play in a defined space, love in a defined space, work in a defined space. All these spaces have their own sphere and drama. That is exactly what I want to tell in my work."
About Paint-a-Future: “It's beautiful that on this earth someone like Hetty exists, bringing something positive into the earth through art. It makes me very happy that we as artists can contribute to that."
‘I feel closely connected to the children’
For Rokhshad Nourdeh (42), who has been living in Paris for 22 years, participating in the ‘International Artists Week’ is a way to tell her history through art. “In that sense I am here also for myself. Through the Argentinean children’s story I found a way to express my own story. This has a purifying effect.” She incorporated the picture of the child who painted the drawing in two of her works, but she didn’t include the child’s face. “This way I want to express my country’s identity problem as well as Argentina’s.” The people of both countries have suffered a lot and in fact are very similar to each other. That is also why I feel very closely connected to these children.”
About Paint-a-Future: “In order for the project to get a broad artistic attention, instead of just for humanitarian grounds, we need not only art critics but also thinkers such as philosophers and psychiatrists. Their contribution can be of great value.”