It has been a while since the last interview in the “Ask to the artist” column, which aimed to investigate in detail the secrets of the artists participating in the Italian Contemporary Art in the Netherlands project, supported by the neo Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde. At the end of July, we had the pleasure of getting to know a little more about the artistic poetics of the young visual artist Ilaria Sperotto from Vicenza, but, as I had announced from the outset, the project is expanding and opening its doors to Dutch artists to create a constructive and proactive artistic and cultural dialogue between Italy and Netherlands.
With great pride, today I would like to introduce to you the first Dutch artist who has accepted the “challenge”: Rob Koedijk from Assen. What thrilled me about Rob Koedijk’s art is his conception of colour, which he enhances to the nth degree in two totally different media, which achieve a completely dissimilar end result. The first medium used is large and very large canvas in which colour comes to life in enormous backgrounds in addition to various tactile materials, giving rise to works with an abstract-informal material flavour. The second medium used by the Assen-based artist is glass in which, although colour is always the dominant element, the application on such a different medium results in an abstract-informal poetic sign in which the observer can play with his imagination and discover images from his own memory and contrasting emotional sensations.
The Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde is pleased to host some works on glass, epoxy resin and fusion by the artist Rob Koedijk; fine works in different formats and prices that have the capacity to amaze for the high technical quality executed.
Let’s finally move on to the questions to Rob Koedijk:
You are an artist with a profound artistic culture, but where does your passion for abstract art and material informalism come from? What does abstraction mean to you?
For me, abstract art is the expression of my own self and my own feelings through colour. The shape and the brushstrokes I put on the canvas are initially secondary to the feelings I am experiencing at that moment. But as my work progresses, the colours and the way they flow into each other become an essential part of the process. While painting, a painting emerges unnoticed because I give my thoughts and feelings all the space they need at that moment. My work is a way of designing that can be ‘read’ by anyone with an open mind and to which everyone can and may give their own interpretation. Form in general is very important to me. However, in abstracting it by means of colour and materials, I can better express myself.
How did your life change after you learned about art through media and colour?
During my studies at the A.K.I. (Academy of Art and Industry), it was mainly the subjects of Architecture, Fashion, Graphic Design and Colour Techniques that I followed with enthusiasm. During my studies, it became clear to me that what I learned there would become an important facet of my life.
Can you tell the readers something about your creative process, from start to finish? Where do you get your inspiration from until you walk away from the work and say “well, now it’s finished”.
I start by choosing the materials with which I want to make the painting, the colours and the size of the canvas. Subsequently, the thoughts and feelings that enter me at that moment, give rise to spontaneous, uninhibited, and random brushstrokes on the canvas with the corresponding colour spectrum. The complete surrender to my feelings and the freedom with which I can fill the canvas myself evolves from an idea to a finished work. If my work gives me satisfaction after completion, then it is “finished”. If not, I let it rest for a while and start again.
Although you always follow your personal abstract artistic poetics, you execute your works on two totally different supports, canvas, and glass: why these choices? Tell us more about your technique.
Working with multiple materials and supports is a challenge for me. It turns out that my own ‘handwriting’ also changes somewhat through this use. Working on canvas with coarse brushes, for example, can produce a quick result, while applying paint to glass with a palette knife shows completely different. Paint on glass with a palette knife shows completely different structures. Working in this way stimulates my creativity, also because the final result is often surprising and very different.
Do you believe that abstract art can be the key to changing people’s minds and improving the world today?
For the viewer, looking at abstract art and empathising with the use of colour, form and composition of a work can provide a moment of peace. Through his own interpretation, the spectator can briefly detach his thoughts from the reality of everyday life and see the relativity of things. I hope that I can contribute to this with my work.
Thank you very much for the time Rob Koedijk has reserved for our readers. For any information I am at your disposal. I invite you to the gallery to enjoy Rob Koedijk’s artistic poetics or to visit his page on https://criticoarte.org/dutch-paintings/rob-koedijk/.
The artist also gives you the opportunity to see other works in his Atelier.