A memory of full moon rides with my Arabian thoroughbred mare Asya, some twenty years ago by now. Riding without gear at night requires absolute trust, the horse has better night vision so, in fact, she took me out on these rides. One of Asya’s idiosyncrasies was her interest in deer, she liked to observe them, sometimes for minutes, like they were distant cousins. Arabian thoroughbreds spoil you for life, I would never want to own another breed of horse after my five years with Asya. Having owned nervous powerhouses before, who I dearly loved too but had to fight for everything, experiencing the combination of fierceness and intelligence of Asya was an eye-opener. Whilst her performance under the saddle looked like she was about to explode, I could control her with my fingertips and ‘seat.’ Asya brought things to me, tried to understand me, and when she did, gave it without holding back. A very special mare, I couldn’t risk bringing her to Thailand, she was booked for transport but I was tipped off by the transporter that a Thai person had shown a keen interest when Asya was in quarantaine and knew that she was at that time the number two Arabian mare in the world. In his experience this interest might result in the horse disappearing upon arrival in Thailand. So she stayed with her original breeder and gave birth to two foals before she died. According to contract one of the foals was mine, but I didn’t recognise Asya in her daughter so I gave her to the breeding station. What is left are the memories of this most extraordinary bond Asya and I had. Just look at that face.
Early 2018 Gabriel Morais invited me to represent Holland for the Love Always Wins project. The idea was to give one artist from every country in the world a page to interpret the theme in a style which represented his/her country. These pictures would/will be a book against racism and xenophobia, profits would go to refugees and the first example is to be presented to Mr. D. Trump. I didn’t have much confidence in that latter part of the plan but Gabriel Morais does have unique projects to his name, like putting up Christmas trees in a large South American city so the general public could put presents for the homeless under them. Now that is nice, so I made this painting for him and have been waiting ever since for the crowdfunding of the book to become successful. I hope Gabriel will still pull it off and find a better first destination for the book (I’d sooner give it to the Pope). Anyway, a one year wait is too long without any solid information so I break the embargo and publish my work.
The tombstone reads: ‘Liefde Wint Altijd’ (Love always wins). My idea was that the love of some people does survive. After reading ‘Notes from the house of the dead’ by Fyodor Dostoyevski I felt his love for humanity reached beyond the grave. So I put that idea in a very Dutch setting in the style of the old Dutch Masters and with one of our famous tulips hovering above a watery grave.
Lukas was a dear friend during my 10 years in Chiang Mai Thailand. Even though being intelligent and rational he believed this dimension is an experiment by aliens. Whilst his alter ego’s in different dimensions led much better lives. This conviction led to many wine fuelled discussions in his Wine Bar Darling. My argument that the aliens must be pretty bored by now after having seen human history repeat itself so many times was always followed by concluding I was a romantic who didn’t want to see things as they clearly are. After his Thai partner Daeng died, Lukas returned to Switzerland and within one year died himself of a mysterious infection. Still, nothing but dear memories of this friend.
Over thirty years of friendship also means a lot of nice things to remember, still took me some time before I could paint this.
#10 and final illustration in the second series with the Ugliest City in the Netherlands as subject.
Near the end of series 2. Experimenting goes wild. A circuit board pretending to be a landscape.
#8 of series 2 about the ugliest city in the Netherlands. Tug boats returning to harbour, passing the parked oil rig.