Galleries

Mixed Media Merriment - new work by Roy Jongeling

It's good to talk to people that have a gleam in their eye. When I met Roy Jongeling at the Realisme Art Fair, I couldn't turn away from the funky spark I kept seeing in his face. It was a good chat and I asked him to meet me a few days later to see his work.

When I walked into Galerie de Hooffzaak  I was surprised by how many times I had peddled by the unassuming gallery with no idea it was there. Situated on the bustling Haarlemerdijk, the galerie/studio/theater is easy to miss... but not once you get off the bike. 

Outside view of Galerie De Hooffzaak, Harlemmerdijk 54
Outside view of Galerie De Hooffzaak, Harlemmerdijk 54

Roy's latest show, entitled "Vitamin H in image, text and 3d" is up until March 1st and shows the depth of Roy's skill as a mixed media artist and humorist. His compositions create a smile on their own, but it's his titles that bring it on home.

Yes, that is Sigmund Freud participating in a drag race.
Yes, that is Sigmund Freud participating in a drag race.

Roy and I definitely had a difference of opinion on his lack of framing for his work, but as the artist does as the artist do, he wants his pieces to stand alone and not behind glass - which, I admit, gives a very personal experience to his compositions. 

With a background that reads like an encyclopedia when it comes to art, it's not surprising that Roy continues to tap into fresh perspectives in his work - he's done everything from making jewelry and furniture to site-specific installation and creative writing. Though, when discussing this body of collage/mixed media work, he leans heavy on his role as a story teller. He is working on creating a full story behind each of his collages, perhaps in a blog or a book coming soon. 

Here's an excerpt from his story "Up In Smoke" - about quitting smoking:

"I finally walked out of that 'Tobacco Road" and quitted the Company. One should know that I started at fourteen. As a trainee. Kind of child-slave. In fact that is not really honest, as I started as a volunteer. Nobody forced me to do the job there in the old days. I wanted to try it. Just to prove that I could do it. To look like a sturdy boy, to be one of "them". "Them", were the older boys. They were at least one and a half years older than me. And more on their way towards maturity. In the beginning it tasted awful, but perseverance reigned gloriously over it and gradually I really liked it more and more. Well, at least that's what I thought then. "

Personally, I'd like to know the story around this particular piece:

Pascal is not looking too pleased with Peter, now is he?
Pascal is not looking too pleased with Peter, now is he?

It's been a very very long time since I have seen successful collage and what's most exciting about Roy's work is that he also is willing to teach us how to do it. Yup, he's teaching a month long workshop (four weekends in a row) - send him an email - Roy@RoyJongeling.nl. The workshop cost also includes materials - which in the digital age seem harder and harder to find. 

A wall full of funny.
A wall full of funny.
I love that Jack Nicholson is confident enough to wear a tutu, cause he's definitely doing it justice.
I love that Jack Nicholson is confident enough to wear a tutu, cause he's definitely doing it justice.

There are about thirty pieces on display and each warrants a pause and a chuckle. There's even a few interactive pieces - the content of a few of them is quite racey - too racey for a post - but this one really struck my fancy. His prices are fantastic for original art - from €150-€400 for some of the larger pieces. 

It's the toenails... he painted the toenails.
It's the toenails... he painted the toenails.

There is a "Finissage" for the show on March 1st, from 4-6pm - plenty of time between now and then to visit the gallery (Friday-Sunday 12-6pm, ring the bell) - and there's a sign-up list there for his workshop.  

And I will leave you with just one more for the road, the rest you go see - and as always, tell me what you think.

"Much to her own surprise, Eulalia was not only confronted with another 'Jeff Koons' in the Museum, but also with an array of possums"

Off Street Laser 3.14 at Andenken

When I found out Andenken was hosting the latest offering from street artist and poet Laser 3.14, I had concerns. Having never seen his work off the street, I doubted it's ability to translate. What would happen when you pulled the anonymity of Laser 3.14's work out of it's natural habitat?I did a fly by of the installation before the opening and was conflicted. At a glance, I saw a concocted line up of something that is part of our Amsterdam culture. An experience that usually happens organically has been trapped inside with it's energy compacted and compressed.

The long wall at Andenken.
The long wall at Andenken.

However, once inside, the work shifted in a couple of ways. First, though the materials are similar to what we see outside, the finish makes the natural textures more dynamic. The high gloss creates a tangible container for the raw content. Here, take a look:

Detail

Detail

Detail

Detail

The second shift, and definitely more poignant, is that caging this work provides us a valuable opportunity. Laser 3.14's commitment to what he does as a writer and public identity is absolute. Less than three months into living here I came across his work while walking the dog. I had no idea what the statement was, but I noticed it and now his work is stuck in my mind as an essential part of living in Amsterdam, it's iconic. It doesn't matter  whether you like his messages or not - if you live here you know his signature. The opportunity then is a chance to capture a piece of Amsterdam. Like it or not, Laser 3.14 is building the culture of Amsterdam and that is worth caging and selling from time to time.

A nice corner at Andenken -
A nice corner at Andenken -
Upstairs at Andenken.
Upstairs at Andenken.

Overall, Andenken and it's Laser 3.14 tagged floor make a great cage and, after hanging out a bit with owner Hyland Mather, I got a bit of an insider tip, things are changing for our icon... so making an investment now is a VERY good idea, because it runs about 300 euro - which won't last. It shouldn't last - it's ridiculously low for keeping the city stamped with messages that make you pause at 3am and discuss - even if it's to argue about the rampant graffiti artists that need to be jailed.

Excerpt from
Excerpt from

You want more? There's a ton out there about Laser 3.14, just google him - here's a few of the pieces that stood out: From StreetART.nl - a great site and basic background on the man behind the can, The Essence and their interview and last but definitely NOT least the interview with CFYE - a great online rag that stands for "Crack For Your Eyes." But to get a real perspective behind the man, we recommend his new book, White Phosphorous - best read in the gallery.

Hopefully Laser 3.14 is here to stay - but his work may not be - catch it if you can at Andenken (Passanistraat 17, Amsterdam), but if you can't make it to the site, you can invest online here.