I am a Dutch-Portuguese artist (1993), working and living in the Netherlands. Due to my complete degree in Biology and my family’s background in international development aid, I have come from a young age into contact with a variety of communities across the African continent. These experiences play a crucial role in my attitude and imagination as an artist. In my artworks I refer to my encounters with local communities and explore the possibilities of making my memories and emotions as tangible as possible. On canvas I recreate my own world in which positive feelings and encounters dominate my reality. Through making art, I want to inspire people with the goodness that exists in the whole of mankind, as I have experienced it myself. A statement in which I want to stimulate mutual respect for all people.
My work revolves around classical figurative art, presented in a contemporary manner. After working with photography and large painting sizes, I currently focus on small works. Here, I explore how posture and composition can contribute to the principles I wants to express. In 2020, I started to focus on engravings and drawings, and since 2021 I investigate how my work can be further developed in 3d, such as in sculptures and portraits made out of clay.
My works have been acquired for the private collections in the United States of America, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal.
For centuries negative views of humanity have played a role in the Western culture. Think of religions that see human beings as sinful or environmentalists who see human beings as a plague. Today the negative view of mankind seems to have become dominant in the society. This can be observed in the news, where the media concentrate increasingly on negativity between people and conflict rather than what connects us. As well as in the Dutch child tax affair where people became victims of the prevailing mistrust and the growth in stricter legislation, rules, protocols and supervision. This negative perspective distorts our representation of reality and let’s fear guide us instead of optimism, influencing our attitude and behaviour towards people in our surroundings. As Rutger Bregman describes in his book; our negative view of humanity is a nocebo. If we expect the worst of each other, we will get it.
And this while people show a lot of good in everyday life. During my travels as biologist, I predominantly experienced the kindness and support of people. Even in the most challenging situations, I came into contact with the tolerance, respect and caring of people. Living and working in different parts of the world has shown me that there are other ways to live and interact with each other. It has shown me that human beings are fundamentally good.
Therefore, I worry about the increasingly negative image of humanity and feel the need to develop a different perspective. With the perspective “Man will become better when you show what he is like” (Anton Chekhov’s) I try to capture and shape the beauty of human nature I have observed in different parts of Africa. In this way, I want to contribute to a positive image of humanity and stimulate positive interactions between people.
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