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When did you start to be interested in art? Why did you choose to draw?

I know exactly when I got interested in art. At one afternoon I visited, as a young chap, the local museum in my home town Haarlem, the Frans Hals museum. This museum features a great display of his masterpieces. There the art virus came alive. This guy had made pictures from rich and famous 17 century citizens and it looked as if he had painted them yesterday. I was amazed by the power of it and deeply impressed by this work. Frans Hals is still one of my favourite painters and one of the reasons is that he made me discover art with a big A.

Do you remember your first artwork, what was it like?

My first real artwork is a mystery for me and lost in time. As a young boy I was always drawing but I never considered this to be art. For me it was just a way of playing and expressing myself. In my case it where friends who attended me to the fact that my work might be called; art.

What are your favourite topics and why? Is there anything you would not depict? What are your favourite topics and why? Is there anything you would not depict?

At the moment my favourite topics are people and especially women. I like the curves and beauty of their bodies and I think that they are a great topic for paintings. As an expressionist artist I make them the carriers of my own emotions. I don’t think there is a subject or person which I can not paint or draw. One of the nicest things about art is that it is free. Free from rules, dogmas and fashions that are considered to be ‘en vogue’.

How education has influenced your creativity and changed your professional way?

After submission to the art school I felt at home. I was surrounded by people, students and teachers, who had the same objectives. After a year I discovered that art school is also an institute which needs students to survive and make the school profitable. From that moment on I only listened to the people who I found interesting or who made fascinating work. This could be teachers but students as well. I think art school is necessary because you learn specified skills but it also gets you in the ‘artist mode’.

From which authors do you get inspiration?

I do not get any inspiration from authors at all. I just read books because I like reading. I get my inspiration from life, love and the people surrounding me.

What, do you think is the place of visual arts in today's life? Do you think art can influence the public life?

I am not sure what the position of art and its influence in the world is these days. I presume the same as always (none). This totally depends on the people itself. Are you willing to visit an exhibition or museum and get inspired, stunned or shocked by an artwork? I am afraid that the great majority of the public does not give a rat’s ass about art, nor will it influence them.

Do you think that nationality has its place in art?

Nationality is probably less important then we presume. Off cause everyone is a child off his upbringing and the cultural landscape in which this took place, but a true artist knows that there are no real boundaries or limits. Through Internet and the new media, the world becomes more and more a global village.

Which books are you reading lately?

At the moment I am reading a book which is situated in the world of paramilitary forces in Iraq. To make this modern day’s history novel acceptable, the author threw in a love story between two mercenaries. In real Hollywood style, this takes place between a beautiful female chief off a certain company and a soldier who works for a competitive militia. The book contains a lot of information about shady companies as Blackwater & Halliburton and gives a scary insight in the role these private armies play in Iraq.

How do you see your future?

I do not have clear vision of the future (Do you?). I don‘t plan too far ahead. I have some Art shows and weekend trips planned but these things need planning and organizing. In daily life I think it is good to be flexible and have the capacity to adapt to new developments in your live. But a secure home base and warm welcome from somebody when you come home is always nice. (this can be your dog) “Life is what is happening while you are making plans”, is still one of my favourite John Lennon quotes.

Would you say in one sentence what is the art for you?

Art is the weapon, love the target. Art is great because it gives me the opportunity to create my own world on paper or canvas without leaving home, having to deal with other people or be contained by obligations and rules, other then my own. Art is not only a way of expressing myself but I think it is also my obligation to produce it because I have this talent for it. Finishing a painting and knowing that you succeeded in creating a good artwork is still one of the greatest thrills in life. Only selling it feels as good.

Art must influence public life otherwise we are not a public, a people, we will have not existed

Art is the weapon, love the target

I think that people should respect their nationality

Art always was the most precise measure of the civilization

Art is knowledge

Art Can Influence People
Smyart contains artworks of a group of friends only.