When you live in a country where the only political issue seems to be the monetary deficit and where the people in power are supported by a political party with an anti-foreigner agenda, it can happen that you feel uprooted. The reactionary force of this movement creates a whole new country. The generous system in which you grew up, interested in the world, in culture and it's diversity, concerned with human rights and full of good will, is swept away. And is replaced by a minimalistic perception of what it means to be Dutch and a strong anti-anything sentiment.

And you begin to wonder; how did this happen? Why are so many of my countrymen so dissatisfied with the wealth in which we live ? And when did it happen? Maybe it is a bad dream and if I wake up the bogey-man has gone away.
The theme of  "The world turned upside down" was coined during the English Civil War as a means to satyrize the enemy and because of the many creative possibilities became very popular since. Think about  the fables of LaFontaine and fairy tales where the animals took over the human role and today the childrens' books by authors like Janosch are popular as ever.
In this theme I find refuge.
Alongside these paintings I've been working on a series of etchings. In them I mix these images with more political ones, they are my pamphlets, you can find them under the name Grim in the Editions-section


( I wrote this text a year ago and although the government failed after one and a half years, the damage to our social structures and the way we are perceived abroad are massive. At the introduction the prime minister told the press that he'd built a government that would more than satisfy the right wing ( "waar rechtse mensen hun vingers bij aflikken") and he kept his word. His tolerant shadow did not and toppled the government over European issues.  Other parties came to his rescue to help formulate an interim policy to act in times of monetary crisis, although a few of the measures that were taken during his reign had to be revised. Amongst them some measures directed towards the income-position of the creative sector. In september there will be new elections and the ex-prime-ministers' party stands a good chance to become the largest again. The parties animosity towards the cultural sector stays intact and they plan to go on with the massive (and compared to other sectors' unproportunate) onslaught on the arts once they are back in office again.  The struggle for individuality and critical thinking has just started!)

The world upside down