zaterdag 30 december 2017

The end of the road for Museum van de Wijk en Toko51

All good things come to an end, so they say .. and unfortunately, now that is the case for the Community Museum (Museum van de Wijk) Oude Westen, the project I have been working hard on the last couple of months together with the great guys from Cretopia Rotterdam. As the building our pop up museum was in, officially has been sold to a new owner, and with no other option to start elsewhere, we have to call it quits.

At least for now.

We have no idea what the future might bring, as Rotterdam's economy is booming and the whole property development market is growing at lightning speed, so, unfortunately, to prices and affordable accomodation for smaller creative initiatives is becoming more and more rare. The same goes for opportunities to start a something on a temporary or pop-up basis: they are getting scarce, too.

So, this not only means an end to The Museum van de Wijk but also to what over the last couple of years has been a small gem of local creative and social entrepreneurship and community building: Toko51. Which has been an open and openminded space for creative artists and makers from the neighborhood. It's a sad thing to see this place go and I wish both Piet Hein en Lennard, the driving forces behind this all, a lot of strength with having to break down what they built up over the last two years.

For those of you who are Dutch (or are able to read Dutch), please read this blog in which I wrote about why, to me, Toko51 was such a unique place in the cultural scene of Rotterdam:
''Het Museum van de Wijk in ''De Toko'': een plek als geen ander! 

Here's the last and final footage from that special place at de West-Kruiskade.
Bye Toko51, you will be missed...

But, as they say... when one door opens, others will open so this is hopefully not the end of what has been a great collaboration. On to new adventures, we go!

woensdag 29 november 2017

Witty Art to be seen in Theater Rotterdam Schouwburg as part of The Museum of Dogs!

Ok, now it's finally official! Behind the scenes, Team Dogparade010 has been working really hard on a new project and it's gonna be a real highlight for me, both as part of the team as well as an artist: The Museum of Dogs, a co-production by Dogparade010 and Theater Rotterdam.

This pop-up Museum of Dogs will open its doors in the main hall of Theater Rotterdam Schouwburg, showcasing a range of dog-themed artwork by both professional, amateur and outsider artists from Rotterdam. Some well-known, some relatively known, some completey unknown to the mainstream audience. Amongst them, yours truly - and I am indeed very proud to be part of this exhibition, which basically is a collection of ''all things dog'' in the line of ''The Museum of Everything''. All works will be shown ''French Salon Style'', creating what we have named The Wall of Dogs

Simultaneously, we will show a collection of dogphotography, again by both professionals and amateurs as well as special photoselections provided by the Dutch Fotomuseum Rotterdam (about 100 year photography of dogs and humans) and the Belasting & Douanemuseum Rotterdam ((featuring dog with jobs like snifferdogs and therapydogs). This Digital Wall of Dogs will be shown on the lifesize Mediawand (basically the biggest TV-screen in the country) in the Hal of Theater Rotterdam.

You can find all information on the flyer, which again is a creation from Dogparade010's trusted designer Grootzus.

All this because of the rerun of the popular Theater Rotterdam familyshow ''Woef Side Story'', a musical about streetdog Toto and upperclass dog Marina who fall in love together, with a whole LOT of consequences, but in the end, love wins. Romeo and Julia go doggystyle, so to speak.  It's, ofcourse an adaption of the famous musical ''West Side Story'', but with dog characters in the lead and Dutch versions of the music score originally written by Leonard Bernstein.

Well, if this is not something look forward to, whether you are a doglover or not, I don't know what is.

The official opening of The Museum of Dogs is on Tuesday December 19th at 17.00 hrs and after that, the museum will open daily from 11.00 to 23.00 hrs, all the way through Christmas up and untill with the final closer at January 6th, 2018: the one-day mini festival We Love Dogs.

So, what exactly am I going to show for this special exhibit then? Well, that will be revealed in another blogpost, SOON. 

woensdag 6 september 2017

''For Your A-Mouse-Ment": philosophical m(o)usings to challenge and question your views of the world!

Sometimes, Witty Art ends up making a switch from one Series to another or starting a Series of its own - or even crossing the existing but admittingly very fine line between Singles* and Series**, as happened with this (yep) series of six drawings. Initially, they started off as six invididual drawings, with no theme or so in mind, though they were definitely connected by the appearance of a nameless figurine, a little and somewhat philosophical mouse who, in truth, has been a trusted companion in doodles and sketches, but not in Witty Art as we've all come to know it (including myself!).

Then she started appearing in my Witty Art Book 'My Life In Limbo', in which she assumed the role of a rather down to earth commentator to everything she'd witness around here. She's doesn't actively participate in all of the turbulent events going on around her, much more prefering the role of a spectator, making comments and asking questions, all of them valid in their own particular way, as Mouse happens to have a very personal view of today's world. Equally often, her comments are questioned and her questions countered by more questions, posed upon her by what seems to be an o going parade of other characters, all of them taking turns in adressing the audience as well.

Then, Mouse stepped out of the book of sketches and doodles, claiming her rightful spot in the World of Witty Art by appearing in these six drawings, I created earlier this year.  To be honest, I didn't think too much of it at first, but shortly after I decided to showcase them as a series of six at the Museum van de Wijk (Community Museum) here in Rotterdam, it became clear to me that Mouse indeed deserved to have her very own series.

So, I am proud to present to you all, my new series ''For Your A-Mouse-Ment'', a series that I hope will both amuse and arouse you by offering you a catalogue of philosophical m(o)usings, aiming to challenge your existing views of the world and offer some lighthearted entertainment, too!

* You can find all about my Series by clicking on these two links: 
Witty Art Series, Part 1 
Witty Art Series, Part 2 

** You can find all about my Singles by clicking on these two links:
Witty Art Singles, Part 1
Witty Art Singles, Part 2  

Have fun while browsing through my work. And don't forget, if you have any questions about my work or would like to even purchase one, all you have to do is click here to get in touch with me!

dinsdag 29 augustus 2017

Studio PuRRR opened up for the first time for Kadefestival 2017 - including small showcase of Witty Art!

So, last Sunday, we opened up our Studio PuRRR for the public, who came to the Kadefestival Delfshaven (a local festival in the Rotterdam area Tussendijken), right at our very doorstep at the Spangesekade and organised by our partner Schiezicht. My creative partner Deborah van de Beld and I'd decided to put together a small showcase of our creative skills, resulting in some Witty Art on the walls and a bit of Deborah's handmade costumework on display.

As this is my Witty Art Blog, I will focus on my own presentation here, but you if want to follow both our individual and combined creative and culinary projects, please follow Studio PuRRR on both Facebook, Instagram and ofcourse, our brandnew Blog.

For this occasion, I opted for a small presentation of a series still pretty much in progress: ''TEST L.A.B. (Lost Accidental Babies)'', a series featuring one of the most popular characters in Witty Art: UnBunny. This time, UnBunny finds himself captive in what appears to be a test lab facility where UnBunnies like himself are subjected to a series of sinister experiments, resulting in them losing shape and form and ultimately their mind.

A gruesome fate, you wouldn't want to wish upon anyone, however, as we catch glimpes of life outside, the question comes to mind whether life in the madhouse is to be prefered above the real world gone even madder. Also, if you have lost your mind, who says you cannot be happy regardless? Does one really need a sane mind to be really truly and fully happy in this world?

To be fair, questions like these pop up in my mind quite often...

I showed this series, which I originally started in 2012 and is very much up and running in 2017, before at a Pop Up Expo in the beginning of 2015, but for this occasion I thought it'd be nice to show some of the drawings still in progress. As to give the viewers a bit of an impression how Witty Art is created, in this case from the initial first pencil sketches to adding the lines in ink and adding the layers of watercolouring.

Consider it a bit of ''The Making of Witty Art'', so to speak.

Directly facing those poor little TEST UnBunnies, on the opposite wall, you can see a small selection of four so-called Singles, all of them created back in 2013-2014. These have been on display on several locations before, amongst others at Route du Nord (edition 2014) and at private artgallery Lijnbaan140 (2016) and I felt that their minimalistic mood would contradict with the colourful explosive force of the TEST L.A.B.-series in an interesting way.

After all, both type(s) of work reflect the World of Witty Art, albeit in different manners, but they definitely are firmly rooted in common ground.

During the day, quite a number of interested people came into our studio and had a look at our presentation, which led to often very entertaining and interesting conversations about our work and our studio.

So this was a very good 'test run' as far as opening up our studio is concerned, a thing we definitely are willing and planning to do more often, by organising exhibitions and other creative and culinairy events, such as our pop up restaurant Tante Timmie Kookt (Tante Timmie's Kitchen) and more!

As said above, if you don't want to miss out on upcoming Studio PuRRR events, please follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram.

woensdag 23 augustus 2017

Preparing for a small showcase of Witty Art during Kadefestival Delfshaven!

Currently, I am busy preparing a small showcase of Witty Art for the upcoming Open Day at our own creative studio Studio PuRRR. We were given the opportunity of opening up our studio as part of the programma of Kadefestival Delfshaven (an initiave by our partner Schiezicht), this coming Sunday August 27th! So, both my creative partner The House of Westenwind (costume designer and professional cook) and I are currently getting our studio ready for showcasing a (small) selection of our work and our creative skills and hopefully, that day some people will pay a visit to our space at the Spangesekade,which is also the very location of the festival. 

Do you happen to be around Rotterdam coming Sunday? You are more than welcome, admission to the festival is free of charge and there is lots of other great stuff to see, including a small artist market, lots of musical and theatre performances, creative workshops and lots of tasty food, all of this made and catered to you by local makers from Delfshaven!

zondag 20 augustus 2017

Another small visual impression of the Makers Expo at Toko51!

Yesterday I was host at the Makers Expo at Toko51 (my joint project together with Cretopia Rotterdam). It was a relatively quiet day, so I took the opportunity of making some more pictures, especially as this exhibition is what you could call a work in progress in itself, as some artists and makers have already left, because of other obligations and/or opportunities, but also some new faces have come on board and joined our beautiful adventure called Het Museum van de Wijk (The Community Museum) based in Het Oude Westen Rotterdam! 

In a next blog*, I will elaborate a bit more on my own Witty Art presentation and why I made the choice to exhibit this new artwork. Stay tuned for more!

Het Museum van de Wijk July 15 - September 30 2017
Toko 51, West-Kruiskade 51 Rotterdam
Open Thursdays - Saturdays 13-17hrs.

Artwork & Creative Crafts by Jaap de Korte, John Vandergalien, Wolbert van Dijk, Rio Holländer, Snotnose, Mireia Romaguera, Amine van Lieshout/BagMe, Margo Ramp, Diana van Wijk, Judith de Leeuw/JDL Streetart, Donovan Spaanstra, Esther Schoonhoven, Lenny O., Piet Hein, Robin Hendriks, Francisca Ghiraw, Laura Ketting, Akke Haarsma & Students and Christy de Witt.

* Additional edit September 6 2017: This particular blog has now been written and online, you can read it by clicking here, enjoy!