INTERVIEWING DUTCH ARTIST EELCO MAAN 🇳🇱
Eelco’s abstracts have a warm and almost mystical undertone. On the surface his brushstrokes seem casual, but according to the artist, it is “a tumultuous Rhapsody of materials and techniques”, which could be the most significant element of his art.
This talented artist’s work is collected internationally and has been displayed in galleries and fairs in The Netherlands, UK, France and Belgium since 1995, both as a solo exhibitor and in collaboration with other fine artists.
Here, our interview with this talented artist. Enjoy.
ART5: Let us start asking you where do you live?
I live in the small town of Oosterland in the Netherlands. There I also have my rather new studio.
ART5: How many years have you been an artist?
I have been a visual artist since 1994, but since I was very young, I have always known I would become an artist. At the age of thirteen, I discovered the rapture and bliss of poetry, literature, painting and music all at once.
ART5: So, before 1994, you were another kind of artist? What kind?
Yes, before I discovered painting, I had been active as a musician.
I started a band with my best friends . I still remember when I bought my first guitar and how it smelled like in the music shop of Servaas in The Haque. There I bought a second-hand black Ibanez Les Paul imitation. I loved that guitar. I thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world, when I woke up the next morning and saw it standing beside my bed.
ART5: What would you call your style of art:?
Lyrical abstract painting
ART5: Did you study in an art school or are you self-taught? What did you study?
As a painter I am mostly self-taught (I did some art courses in the beginning of my career) and I studied history (for 1 year) and photography.
ART5: Is painting your full-time job or do you do something else?
Since more than 10 years ago it is my full-time job. Before that I held a part time job as a graphic designer photographer
ART5: What are your hobbies?
I love making music, reading and gardening.
ART5: What medium do you work with?
Basic is acrylics on canvas. I use a lot of other mediums to create my particular style. Collages and arrangements of acrylic paint, cut-outs, eroded or torn elements and different types of paper. Other materials are spray paint, concrete, tile glue.
ART5: How has your style changed over the years?
I started out in a more figurative way, initially experimenting with Fauvism and surrealistic elements (influenced by Klee, Miró, among others). Since 2005 I have been working more and more towards abstraction and gradually adopted a more austere and abstract style.
ART5: What do you believe is a key element to creating a good composition?
Colour, light, harmony and a sensation of movement / vibration, all to create a distinctive composition.
ART5: What is art for you?
What may be religion to other people. A gateway to the sublime, a pathway to making meaning.
ART5: Your favourite place in the world?
ART5: Who are your favourite artists?
Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Chagall, Turner, Eugene Brands, Rembrandt, Hundertwasser and many more.
ART5: What is the most challenging part of being an artist?
To find a balance between business and creativity. I try to paint every day for at least a couple of hours before doing anything else, trying to keep a more or less 50/50 division between the real work, painting and the business side of making a living out of it.
ART5: What is the best part about creating art?
Being in the finishing stages of a good, new painting
ART5: What is indispensable in your art studio?
Paint, brushes, me, Photoshop. If I get stuck somewhere in the line during painting, I take a picture of it, load it in Photoshop and try different approaches digitally on the computer.
It is very helpful tool to try out colour and compositional changes before applying it for real. In the end results always differ, but that does not matter if it is ok.
ART5: How do you define success?
To be able to make a living with something you love doing, something you are passionate about.
ART5: Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Friends of all sorts and a whole bunch of writers, poets, musicians, painters.
ART5: Your favourite book or author?
Too many to choose from. Maybe something by Herman Hesse.
ART5: What music do you listen to? Do you paint with music?
From Frank Zappa, Eagles, Stones and The Beatles to Ravel and Claude Debussy. I often paint with music.
ART5: In what ways are you the same as your childhood self?
In almost every way: curious, inspired, looking for beauty and driven to create something new, whether it be poetry, music or a painting.
Art5 Gallery has a beautiful selection of art works by this fine artist. Come visit us.