woensdag 21 september 2016

A spontaneous video 'shoot' resulted in a really nice video of my Witty Art opening!

So, what's even more cool about the opening of my work last night at Ani & Haakien, is that one of the hostel guests actually turned out to be one extremely talented film maker (and much more than that), Alrizki Marino, who made a very nice & neat little video of moi-myself, in front of my work. The result is really, really cool - and I am really, really pleased with it!

vrijdag 16 september 2016

Great opening at Ani & Haakien last night!

What a great opening it was, yesterday at Hostel Ani & Haakien. Perhaps not that busy, mainly due to the hot weather, but a perfect setting for a nice and cosy summer opening. And the people who showed up were all extremely interested in my work, which resulted some really touching conversations about my work and even two brandnew pieces sold!

Unfortunatley, due to traffic delays, one of the singer-songwriters that was scheduled to perform, could not make it, but the very talented Maria-Josephine made more than up for that. And there is nothing wrong with listening to some striking songs brought to life in a nice hostelgarden during a hot summer night.

And then there were two people who took the opportunity of getting some Witty Art of their own. First, my good friend and acclaimed 'citycreator & hospitality expert Leon Keekstra aka De Stadsbemoeial; and then one of my favourite Rotterdam theatremakers and directors, Irene Siekman both purchased a piece from the series 'Lost Bear'. And ofcourse, they had to strike a pose next their new prized possessions, soon to be handed over to them once the exhibition is over.

Some more people have expressed interest in wanting to see the exhibition, while it still on, so I hope many of you will come to visit the loveliest and funkiest Hostel in Town: Ani & Haakien, located in one of Rotterdams finest areas, The Oude Westen (just a five minute walk away from Rotterdam Central Station). The exhibition is still on until October 19th and the good news is, the hostel is open 24/7 ...

Many thanks to:
Pica Pica 010 / Marcel Kamphuis for organising it all
Hostel Ani & Haakien / Joyce Brouwer & Danielle Linscheer for their hospitality and a special thanks to Miss Suzy La Cubanita for being the most glamorous hostel kitty EVAH!
Maria Josephine for performing
Deborah van de Beld for, well, being you & all your support
My dear feline friend Lord Westenwind for getting his fur everywhere!
All of you who showed up to share this moment with me, thank you for your support & the great conversations!

woensdag 14 september 2016

More than ready for the opening of Witty Art at Hostel Ani & Haakien!

Last couple of days, I have been working pretty hard to get everything ready for the upcoming opening of my expo at Hostel Ani & Haakien. Which actually is this very night, tonight. So, you can imagine there's is quite a bit of the so-called 'infamous creative stress' involved ;-)

Anyway, so far I am really happy with how this showcase of my work turned out, especially as it offers both the more cartoonlike side of my work as well as the more surrealistic part of Witty Art.

After long deliberation, I finally opted to show a little series I never really had the opportunity of sharing during an exhibition before: ''Pin Bear Wizard'', from 2013. Featuring yet another brave little bear who has indeed been dealt some pretty bad cards by Life. He is accompanied by a somewhat sinister ''ScapeGoat-ish'' character, of which not even I am quite sure whether he is the bad guy or not. And me being me, and Witty Art being Witty Art, I like to pretty much leave that one open...

But, as you can see clearly, the style of drawing for ''Pin Bear Wizard'' is much more cartoonlike and much more colourful than the other work I selected for the exhbition. Series like ''Lost Bear' but also The Singles are much more surreal and dreamlike - though they all most definitely belong to the bizarre universe that Witty Art is made from.

All in all, I am really happy with how this selection highlights both sides of my work (and my world, for that matter). It's not that I favor one above the other, though I do like the how people sometimes have different perceptions of what Witty Art stands for. Is it cartoonart, figurative or even illustration art? Is is more autonomous, abstract even? 

Now, I am not one for labelling much, but sometimes doing so helps adding a bit of context. So, name or label it whatever you yourself feel like. Whatever feels good for you - and if you don't feel the need to name it anything at all, then that's just fine. All I am after, is that my work speaks to you and manages to strike a chord or two. That it evokes some kind of emotion. That it does not leaves you untouched. Whatever the emotion may be.

And, if does do anything for you at all, that is also fine by me. I just love for people to be honest with my work - as my work as about as brutally honest as I can get. In my work, there are no walls of social conventions to be upheld, no masks to hide behind, to pretence what so ever. It is what it is. And it is what I am. No more, no less. Just me, just Witty.

donderdag 8 september 2016

Working on the selection for my upcoming Witty Art Expo at Hostel Ani & Haakien!

Working on the selection of my upcoming exhibition at Hostel Ani & Haakien, which opens at Thursday, September 15h - which is in exactly one week from now. That means, just seven more days to determine which artworks I am going to show!

So, which will be ''The Chosen Ones''? To be honest, at this point, I have literally no idea. But the ones posted here today, are very, very likely candidates to be considered worthy of selection.

The coming days, I will post frequent updates of the selection progress on the eventpage on Facebook and, ofcourse, here on this blog as well.

Also, you can find all information on the ''where, when & what time'' on this blog too!

Both the exhibition and opening progamme are organised by Pica Pica 010, Rotterdam.

maandag 5 september 2016

Proud at my interview for the Dutch version of 'The 'Big Issue''

(Please scroll down for an English summary of this post)

''Ondernemende Rotterdamse Stadsnomade''', staat er boven het interview met mij dat staat in de meest recente september-editie van het Straatnieuws Rotterdam-Den Haag. Een weergave van een mooi gesprek dat ik had met één van hun medewerkers, Kim Meeuwissen. Een gesprek over overleven en ondernemen als dakloze. Want dat ben ik, uiteindelijk, na ruim een jaar geleden door een optelsom van omstandigheden mijn huis te zijn kwijtgeraakt, nog steeds.

Een jaar waarin veel is gebeurd, zowel privé als professioneel. Waarin ik diep viel, maar niet in een bodemloze put. Waarin ik ik ontdekte dat een harde landing ook een onverwacht warm bad kan zijn. Waarin veel tegenzat, maar uiteindelijk nog veel meer mee. Een bewogen jaar vooral, dat mij het inzicht bracht wat ik wel en niet wilde, met mijn bedrijf, en vooral hóe niet, en hoe dan wèl.

Het jaar waarin ik er achter kwam dat mijn ''rock bottom'' niets anders is dan mijn ''solid foundation''.

Want hoe dieper je durft te vallen, hoe dichter je bij de kern komt van jezelf. Van wie je bent, en waar voor je voor staat. Van wat je wil, en wat je kan. En waar jij het verschil kan maken. Als mens, voor jezelf, voor je vrienden, voor de wereld om je heen. Als ondernemer, voor je bedrijf en voor je klanten en opdrachtgever, voor de mensen met wie je samenwerkt.

Daarover schreef ik al eerder, op dit blog; en legde ik een deel van mijn reis vast in mijn Witty Art Book 'My Life In Limbo' - waaraan ik nog steeds, zij het met iets onregelmatiger tussenpozen, blijf werken.

Daarover vertel ik iets in dit interview voor deze meest recente uitgave van Straatnieuws Rotterdam-Den Haag, vanaf 1 september gedurende een periode van 3 weken te koop is bij de verkopers van dit magazine, allemaal, net als ik, dak- en thuislozen.

Daarom mijn oproep aan al mijn volgers en vrienden van Witty Art & Witty Projects: Ga naar buiten, als je kan, ga naar zo'n verkoper, en kóóp die krant.

Het kost maar een klein bedrag. En mocht je meer kwijt kunnen en willen, schroom dan niet dat te doen. Mocht je niets meer kwijt kunnen of niets kunnen missen, doneer dan een vriendelijk woord, een kort praatje, een glimlach. Die laatste zijn gratis, en levert je misschien zelfs meer op dan je denkt.

Waarmee ik maar wil zeggen: Be Kind. Het kan een wereld van verschil maken.

(English version below this picture)

Recently, I was interviewed for the monthly paper Straatnieuws Rotterdam-Den Haag, a magazine published on behalf of and sold by homeless or vulnerably housed people. And I have no shame in admitting out in the open that I am one of them - and have been so for just over a year now, after having been forced to sell my house.

As followers of Witty Art will know, I previously blogged about the turn of events that uprooted my whole private and professional life and the enormous impact it had on me. It forced me to take a couple of steps back and to look at my life, both as a person as well as a creative professional - a creator of art.

A year has passed since I had to leave the place I called my home. A year has passed since I began my life as a 21st century city nomad. A year of confrontation and inner conflict, of almost crippling self doubt and a painfully low self esteem. A year of hitting rock bottom and hitting it hard.

But also a year of newly found love. Of new friendships and rekindling old ones. Of finding help and support in the most unexpected of places. Of not only confrontation, but more so challenges and, thus, changes. Of loss, yes, but more so of being enriched. Of letting go of old ideas, embracing new ones, new plans, new visions.

A year, in which I discovered that my ''rock bottom'' is nothing else but my own solid foundation - on which I will rebuild my life and my work.

These are the things I talk about in this interview. About living AND working as a homeless person. Because you see, I never EVER stopped working. I  never stopped creating Witty Art, I never stopped doing Witty Projects. Never in this whole year the thought of stopping crossed my mind - not even once. And it never will. It's what kept me going - that, and the (sometimes) overwhelming support of some really special persons in my life.

It;'s stuff I blogged about before, as I wrote about my Witty Art Book 'My Life In Limbo' (which, as a matter of fact, I am still working on, albeit on a far less regular basis) It's stuff I talk about in this interview. So I hope many of my followers who live in the The Hague-Rotterdam area will buy one or more copies - and by doing so help another homeless person to make a bit of a decent living. And, if for some reason they can't or won't (each and everyone to their own), I do hope they will at least donate that one thing that, perhaps, does not always come easily but we so easily take for granted too. That one thing that goes a long, long, LONG, way.