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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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"