Kathy Ager is a Canadian-born artist based in Amsterdam. It’s what flows beneath the surface that interests her. In Ager’s current body of work, she braves the mind’s basement, ventures into the heart’s deep dark woods, plundering pieces of people and things she encounters. The images that emerge are physical records from these intimate depths. Both deeply personal and universal, they are cryptic messages directed towards the audience. She challenges the viewer to face the discomfort and to see the beauty and power in letting yourself feel.
She describes subjects such as dead animals, which frequently appear in her paintings, as the intimate and tender offerings of our nature which are subjected to the subtle brutality of consumable, disposable modern life and love. Sometimes strikingly eery or underlyingly violent, her works are crafted in a way that is original and appealing to the eye, and in a way become her weapons against the pain of letting oneself be vulnerable.
Levi David Van Gelder (1816-1878) produced the earliest examples of his distinctive micrographic artistry, during the 1840s, while working as a printer and lithographer in his native Amsterdam. By imaginatively combining minuscule words and letters and integrating them with oversize decorative word panels, some accomplished by the application of collage elements, Van Gelder achieved his uniquely characteristic style of calligraphy and while still in Netherlands produced at least four separate exemplars of these engraved mizrah plaques. In 1864 Van Gelder, along with his wife and children, relocated to the United States where he settled in Chicago.
Amsterdam based artist Martine Johanna (previously featured here) has a new series of paintings exploring the feeling of impending doom. “Something’s Wrong” will be on display at Massey Lyuben Gallery in New York from May 4 – June 10.
Amsterdam based Stefan Glerum’s style is like a melting pot of illustration heritage. While its subconscious familiarity has universal appeal, his work is also a study point for those with knowledge of graphic design history. His work is inspired by early 20th Century movements such as Art Deco, Bauhaus, Italian Futurism and Russian Constructivism, which he combines with popular themes, executed in a handdrawn style reminiscent of the clear line.
Amsterdam based artist Jules Julien‘s universe crosses many opposite sides; colorful and dark, graphic and sensitive, realistic and surreal. His clean and simple aesthetic makes his work immediately recognizable. He puts in scene a world where the symbol blends with the anecdote and where the strange is concealed behind the images in his meticulous paintings.
Amsterdam based Folkert de Jong is best known for his theatrical narrative that address themes of war, greed and power. A sense of tragedy and absurdity, a comically desperate psychological state, permeates his work, particularly through the sculptural material for which de Jong became known: industrial Styrofoam and Polyurethane insulation foams.
Parra (Pieter Janssen) was born in 1976 in The Netherlands and is currently based in Amsterdam. The largely self-taught artist began his career drawing flyers and posters for music venues in Amsterdam in the 1990s. In 2012, he was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) to create Weirded Out, a 60-foot indoor mural, currently part of their permanent collection.
His signature hand-drawn approach to illustration and design led to collaborations with brands such as Nike, Pendleton and Case Studyo. Parra’s paintings, drawings and sculptures have been exhibited in galleries across Europe, Japan and North America. He also co-founded the apparel label Rockwell by Parra and is a member of electronic music group Le Le.
Stefan Glerum lives and works in Amsterdam. Stefan spent four years in Breda studying illustration at the Academy St. Joost. He also worked as an assistant to one of the country’s most celebrated comic artists, Joost Swarte.
Glerum’s style is like a melting pot of illustration heritage. While its subconscious familiarity has universal appeal, his work is also a study point for those with knowledge of graphic design history. His work is inspired by early 20th Century movements such as Art Deco, Bauhaus, Italian Futurism and Russian Constructivism, which he combines with popular themes, executed in a handdrawn style reminiscent of the clear line.
This expansive new pedestrian and cycling tunnel in Amsterdam features a fantastic tile mural depicting a fleet of ships in rough seas. The 361-foot path called the Cuyperspassage connects the city center to the IJ waterfront and sees some 15,000 commuters daily.
The darker cycling lane incorporates sound-absorbing asphalt and steel grates, while the pedestrian side is almost completely wrapped in a mural of 80,000 delft blue tiles. The artwork was designed by artist Irma Boom, heavily inspired by the work of Dutch tile artist Cornelis Boumeester.
The new paintings and illustrations of Amsterdam based artist Martine Johanna are a surreal mix between fantasy and fashion.
“My very first obsession was for high fashion, folk & ethnic clothing and couture throughout the years, from a young age scrimmaging trough my mother’s closet, shoes and make up. Even though the small village I grew up in did not accept outsider behavior, my imagination never crumbled. Exhaling my emotions in drawing, painting, dancing and creative outbursts. Music and music videos were one of my first loves, I wanted to be a dancer for a long time. Instead, at 19 I went to study art & fashion, obtained a masters degree, became a fashion designer and finally in 2008 fully returned to painting and drawing. I’m still working hard to develop not only my skills technically but also to stay creative over-all. I also teach at the university of Amsterdam, do visual forecastings for big agencies and style fashion shows.” – Martine Johanna