Silkscreens/ Mix of 4 Postcards
1: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
2: You’re Welcome
3: Ergere dicht nicht, wundere dich nur.
4: Zodiac Carpet
1. Upper Left:
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is a computer-made drawing.
The title is from a famous song for those who know the film Monty Pythons Life of Brian (1979).
Always look on the bright side of life. (Whistle).
Always look on the light side of life. (Whistle)
Which is what we can train ourselves. And I show this in the drawing.
At first glance, an easy and bright yellow computer drawing. With two yellow strokes. One bright and strong. The right one is also yellow but paler. And more lived through or perhaps even run down. Yet in itself a good color too.
A female neutral-looking face. But if we look at the eyes. We see one eye wide open with curiosity, with a few black crowlike eyelashes left. The other eye on the right has the black mascara (or dirt) cried out.
John Cleese co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the movie Life of Brian. Together with Dr. Robin Skynner, he wrote the book: Families and how to survive them.
And although super funny. It is helpful and sound advice, in my opinion. To every coin, there is a flipside. Perhaps we can train ourselves to always look for the positive aspects of certain situations.
This drawing was made on the computer and then printed and laminated in 1999.
2. Upper Right:
After the first carpet I made called, Dierenriem (English: Zodiac), I made two commissioned carpets. The two commissioned carpets came from computer-animated drawings I made. In this period, I started to experiment with work on the computer. The postcard, You’re Welcome, is a silkscreen version of this initial digital animated drawing.
You’re Welcome was made for Alex de Vries, who was in 1999 vice director of the art academy, I was attending. I think I dare to say that he was one of the few, if not maybe the only one, who saw my drive and ambition and was not repelled by it or scared or jealous. No, he was curious. And not only with me. I remember he occasionally came walking through the building and seeing all the students’ art.—He was interested.
He and his wife had bought a dog from the streets called Tiza. At that time, I had a dog too, Kay. And he gave their dog a new and loving home. They made their dog feel welcome. And by commissioning me for this artwork, I think not only the dog. It is such a great feeling when someone truly welcomes you. When you feel you are welcome.
The dog was a light yellow. But dogs can also be the light in our life. In the for the rest perhaps psychological challenging environment. So the dog herself is also put in the purple background. And because these are complementary colors on the color wheel, like red and green, that makes the dog stand out. And the red exclamation mark expresses it loud and clear, the dog has been rescued! It is a fact. It is true. The dog is safe now and for the rest of the dog’s life. On the road that lays ahead, they will walk together. It is now a mutual one road.
The word, Welcome, is depicted in a field of green as if it is a doormat. When you enter many people’s homes, there is often in front of the door a mat with welcome on it. The dog is inside now. And it is green since it is like the grass where dogs like to play on. And it also relates to naivety and health, which dogs have and bring.
3. Lower Left:
Ergere dicht nicht, wundere dich nur. This mixed up sentence comes from, Nicht Ärgern nur Wundern. Which is is a German saying. It means: Don’t get annoyed, be amazed.
The verb to annoy (ärgern) is written as, ergeren. Which has the same meaning, only is written in the Dutch language.
The face is drawn with the same blue pen as is the sentence. With here and there some white gaps. These might show a mixture of confusion, sadness, hope, and surprise. Around the face and text, I have drawn a black frame.
In this silkscreen postcard version, there is a red line next to the blue. Also, around the black frame, there are some other colors visible.
The smile I have stretched and colored red. The red almost touches the right eye, which is colored black.
The bright yellow background could stand for humor, the sun, and happiness. And almost the whole silkscreen is imbued with this yellow color. Like a yellow swamp, I want to suck you into this!
In our life, it is not all happiness and sunshine. Perhaps this silkscreen can give you some mental help when you encounter difficult people or strange situations. And you remember the words: ergere dich nicht, wundere dich nur.
4. Lower Right:
The right side of these silkscreens (top and bottom) are both carpets. In the book Zodiac Carpet—From Art to Z, I show the whole process. From the initial concept, pictures of the drawings, the paintings, and finally the Zodiac carpet.
Each of the twelve fields shows one astrological sign. The idea behind the work is that we are all human and yet different. But also, that qualities you have can be found in someone else, and vice versa. So we are all diverse but the same too in many aspects.