Although I followed with oil paint a new trial in painting, that didn't mean I gave up on enamel painting. I just used it for a different reason, namely how to make affordable art without losing what makes art valuable. So I invented the Sumi.
The Sumi series were actually based on two principles. The first was the idea that if enamel paint was without emotion than I better use that fact, even make it stronger by painting on pvc sheets for industrial printing. Poetry on plastic. The second was the inspiration from the traditional Japanese ink paintings Sumi-é, a derivative of calligraphy. The traditional black ink on paper (black on white) was replaced by two colors. A black & white painting in color, so to speak.
The Sumi series became as a bridge between the unique and the affordable, exactly as was intended.
After 2018 I replace the enamel with oil paint mixed with a gloss medium. And so, on the end, I managed to bring back emotion into the Sumi.
I got quite busy with all sorts of projects. This one was the model for a life size replica of a Wiesmann car in fur. It was intended for the presentation of the latest model so the obligated showgirls had something other to lean on then cold metal.
My painting/set design for Wagner's opera “Tristan & Isolde”.
"Cantor" was another big installation I did in Paris.
The difficulty in Paris was, the exhibition space was a former church. No walls to speak of, just thick columns and stained windows. So I came up with the idea of screens, divided all over the space, as a labyrinth. Like walking into someone's memories. Just my luck that the show opened the exact time there was a general strike of all public transport in Paris.
The publicity firm JCDecaux Germany had to install the first of their new bio public toilets on the infamous Reeperbahn (St. Pauli) in Hamburg, but were not allowed to put any ads on the outside, so they asked me to come up with an idea. The idea behind was that if it would work out in a place like that, it'll work anywhere.
Having my picture taking with the deputy mayor of Hamburg. When something happens on the Reeperbahn, probably the most infamous sex-mile in Europe, everybody wants to get in, certainly the press and politicians.
It was very successful, in the sense that thousands of people passed by it every day without leaving a single graffiti or tagging. A year later I had to make two more.
As it turned out, between 2004 and 2007 I did a lot of projects, probably because of the size of the studio.
Playwright Arne Sierens asked me to create a bunch of puppets to play alongside some of his actors, like in the Japanese Bunraku theatre. Each puppet was handled by two or three players.
That gave me the idea to make the puppets according to the Origami principle.
The puppets really had the ability to bring out emotions out of actors. (Much to their dismay.)
And man, could these puppets die…!
I made some hanging flowers out of silk. Just for the fun of it. I called them "Down Under"
Sort of urban jungle, so to speak.
“Winter People”. Amazing what you can do with a potato and some leftover pieces of fake fur...
The Winter People choir.
The Momo's were originally designed as an installation for a show inside an empty furniture shop in 1993, but I made a second generation. These were the big one's.
The little Momo’s in all different sorts of fake fur. And of course they became real teddy bears.
Ones I created the small Momo teddy bears, making an animation wasn't such a big step - How about those apples?!
Neon Christ. Just an idea.
My landlord who lived in the loft right next to my studio moved out, so I moved in, dubbeling the size of my studio.
Notwithstanding the fact that I was working on many projects and installations, I painted all the time too, switching back and forth between oil and enamel paint, depending on what it wanted to achieve. Like in this case a bamboo forest, painting one tree a day (time for the enamel to dry).
This large painting (2x4m) one could definitely call a seascape. It started out as a swimming pool, then became a bloodbath and eventually ended up becoming an ocean surf.
There are many ways to paint a silhouette. In "The Furies" the birds were not painted at all, only the background. I loved backgrounds. In many (maybe all my paintings) the background was the most important level.
Probably because of the extra loft, this time with heating, bathroom etc, I felt the urge to create some design objects. I suppose I started to feel comfortable.
One of the first things I designed was the “Xpillow”, the pillow that hugged back.
Another design was “Purrr”, a sort of travel-pillow-with-handle thing.
The most important design though was “Sof-a”, a lounge with an ottoman that could be closed into a cube.
The periode between 2004 and 2007 I also made a series of new sculptures. Basic landscapes in artificial fur like in this image an Italian mountain village.
This fur-sculpture was a cottage at the coast.
I even made a sculpture with myself by designing a wolf-suit to become a werewolf.
I finished the year 2006 by making two opposite paintings. (Or should I say: with the same differents?) The first was the "Orchids in Red & Green", enamel on canvas, 200 x 200cm.
The second last painting of 2006 was "The Falling", oil on canvas, 150 x 170 cm, after my favorite painting “ The fall of the Rebel Angels” by Bruegel.
Poster design for: "Trouwfeesten en processen, vuile hoeren, bedriegers, slechte ouders, domme kinders, tot het einde der tijden".
This play was about a family as a circus, so I designed a blue ring with wooden floor.
The floor was needed because the actors did some tap dancing.