Image courtesy of Vincent de Haan
Interview: Vincent de Haan
Luca Curci talks with Vincent de Haan during ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL 2019 – RITUALS at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi.
Vincent de Haan is a self-taught painter working with a wide range of different paints and materials. After having spent the first seven years his childhood growing up in subtropical Durban, South Africa, he moved with his family to the Netherlands in the late 1990’s. After obtaining a Master’ s degree in Hydrology and Hydrogeology at Stockholm University, Sweden, he lived and worked in London and Kampala, Uganda. Africa holds a special place in his heart and the vibrant colors, rich culture and natural beauty of this magical continent have inspired him greatly and still do every day. You could say Vincent’s style is formed by a dynamic mix of African and European influences and experiences. The balance between order and chaos is often a reoccurring theme is his works. Currently Vincent is living and working from his studio in Den Bosch, the Netherlands.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Vincent de Haan – For me art is a pure self-expression. Art is a vessel for me to captivate my deepest desires, dreams, emotions and explore my inner self.
LC – What are you currently working on?
VDH – Currently I’m working on a series called ‘Natural Wonders’. With this series I want to celebrate the natural beauty of our world (the oceans, land and sky), but also create awareness about how climate change, pollution, overfishing etc. are threatening our natural world. Having grown up in South Africa, I’ve deeply enjoyed a strong connection with nature and therefor I feel a strong obligation to play my part in order to help protect these precious environments for future generations.
LC – What is your creative process like?
VDH – My creative process is quite explosive and intuitive. Typically, I do have a certain theme in mind. I start the explosive, intuitive process of painting the background where I don’t think too much and just let the colors fly and flow. Once I’m happy with the background I start to think more what would be suitable as a foreground. With portraits, the process is more planned from the beginning. I love working with various mediums such as oils, acrylics, spray paint leather, fabric, rubber, sea shells and fossils. I love exploring how the interplay of different textures and materials create balanced and intriguing compositions.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
VDH – Typically, I do work with specific themes, especially when I’m working on a series. But I also enjoy creating pieces where I have no idea how they will end up before I start. I would say my strength as a contemporary painter lies in painting intuitively without overthinking, just letting go.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
VDH – Well obviously a lot has changed with the internet and social media. For most painters these days that want to make a decent living from their work you have to go give it an entrepreneurial touch – run it like a business, but always create art that’s true to yourself. What I enjoy is trying out different out of the box marketing techniques to understand to a greater extent who is interested in buying your art. To me this is a fun creative process in itself. Although Internet and social media have made it more difficult to get noticed with the overflow of information, they have also given artists great opportunities to get their artwork into the world.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
VDH – The series ‘Back to the Future’ I exhibited at the festival was not made specifically for the festival, but has a lot in common with the concept of Anima Mundi which focusses on the intrinsic connection between all living entities on the planet. My ‘Back to the Future’ series is an abstract expression of how everything on our planet and in the universe is connected with each other in time and space. It’s one of my most abstract series I’ve ever painted.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
VDH – I do, and I strongly believe in the theme of the festival Anima Mundi.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
VDH – I would and I think your services are good.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
VDH – Yes, I really enjoyed the opening of the exhibition. It was great to meet and talk to other artists in such a magical building in the heart of Venice. I made new friends for life!
Image courtesy of Vincent de Haan