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Home » About us » Reading Material » Interview: Marko Klomp

Interview: Marko Klomp

Marko Klomp is a Dutch painter and poet. His latest series; Left Behind has been curated together with some of his other landscape paintings by Art Historian Wouter Maas. The interview was in Dutch, but is translated into English with the original Dutch answers put below. Marko kindly obliged us to answer these 11 questions about him and his art.

Reading time: 6 minutes

Text is alternating English and Dutch.

Interview: Dutch painter Marko Klomp

Who? Marko Klomp

 

What? Artist and Poet

 

When? Early 21s century (2020)

 

Where?The Netherlands

 

Why? Getting to know Marko during his Solo Exhibition

 

LEFT BEHIND - A MONOGRAPHY OF LANDSCAPES

The makings of an artist.

1. Please tell us something about yourself.

    I am a poet and painter. After completing the Art Academy St. Joost in Breda, The Netherlands (1998), I settled in The Hague, close to the place where I grew up, Voorschoten. In 2010 I became an artist member of the renowned Pulchri Studio in The Hague.

    My first collection of poems appeared in 2012. I have regularly performed in theaters/poetry stages. My poetry and painting are closely linked.

     

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    Vertel ons iets over uzelf.

    Ik ben dichter en schilder. Na de kunstacademie St.Joost, te Breda, Nederland succesvol te hebben afgerond (1998), heb ik me in Den Haag gevestigd, dicht bij de plaats waar ik ben opgegroeid, Voorschoten. Ik ben in 2010 kunstenaarslid van de gerenommeerde Pulchri-studio te Den Haag geworden.

    Mijn eerste gedichtenbundel verscheen in 2012. Ik heb regelmatig optredens in theaters/ poëzie-podia gedaan. Mijn poëzie en schilderkunst zijn nauw met elkaar verbonden.

     

    Tascha: Pulchri Studio has been a well-known artist association and cultural fixture in The Hague since 1847. Pulchri Studio organizes an average of 60 exhibitions per year. Artist membership is only obtained through balloting, which means that artists have to be voted in by members. The exhibitions also incorporate non-members.
    For membership, they use the following criteria to assess every artist. Expressiveness, Conceptual quality, Innovation and Authenticity of the artists work and incorporate art theory and current events. All of these things we see back in Marko's artwork.

    Stan (2017). Marko Klomp. Oil on Linen. 80cm x 100cm. Cantima Series.

    2. How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more

    about your journey?

    I knew from childhood that I wanted to be an artist. My mother is a sculptor, so that certainly helped me choose a career.

    My artistic journey has always been characterized by innovation and research. I wanted to try everything (including graphics and sculpting). The subjects in my paintings are also very different. People, animals, landscapes and the sea. I even painted a cosmonaut once. No, I don't want to keep doing the same for too long, but because of my technique, the soft-focus, every painting remains recognizable as work of mine.

     

    ---

    Hoe ben je begonnen met wat je nu doet? Vertel ons alstublieft meer over hoe je tot dit punt kwam?

    Eigenlijk wist ik al vanaf mijn kinderjaren dat ik kunstenaar wilde worden. Mijn moeder is beeldhouwster, dus dat heeft zeker geholpen bij mijn beroepskeuze.

    Mijn artistieke reis heeft zich altijd gekenmerkt door innovatie en onderzoek. Ik wilde alles wel een keer proberen (ook grafiek en beeldhouwen).  Ook de onderwerpen in mijn schilderijen zijn zeer verschillend. Mensen, dieren, landschappen en de zee. Ik heb zelfs een keer een kosmonaut geschilderd. Nee, ik wil niet te lang hetzelfde blijven doen, maar door mijn techniek, de ‘soft-focus, blijft elk schilderij duidelijk herkenbaar als werk van mij.

     

    Tascha: We were introduced to each other by your mother, Lydia Klomp. Who is a well known artist in her own right. When I last spoke with her, one of her sculptures had just been bought by the Mayor of Voorschoten. As I had sent an open call to her and other artists in Voorschoten, she and I both live (and you grew up). But as you said, she is a sculptor, and you are a painter. Gallery Sorelle Sciarone is primarily an art gallery for paintings. However, I hope that we will be able to do a joint exhibition of your paintings and your mother's sculptures in the future. 

    3. Who are your role models?

    I don't have any "real" role models. There are people I admire very much (and that changes regularly).

    David Lynch  (The Film Director) is one of them. He is known of course for his surrealist cinema and in favour of (transcendental) meditation. I like his way of making mediation accessible. But people like Max Richter, Philip Glass (both composers) and Rudolf Steiner (anthroposophist) also capture my admiration.

     

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    Wie zijn jouw rolmodellen?

    Ik heb geen ‘echte’ rolmodellen. Er zijn wel mensen die ik erg bewonder (en dat verandert ook regelmatig).

    David Lynch is één daarvan. Natuurlijk bekend door zijn surrealistische cinema, maar ook voorstander van (transcendentale) meditatie. Ik houd van zijn manier om mediatie toegankelijk te maken.  Maar ook mensen als Max RichterPhilip Glass (beide componisten) en Rudolf Steiner (antroposoof) weten mijn bewondering te vangen.

     

    Tascha: It is very apparent from your oeuvre that a great many things inspire you. The arts transcend their immaterial music boundaries and fleeting moments, with philosophical and the material world in your artworks. Thank you for sharing people that have influenced your art. It has given me a better grasp at putting a finger to the pulse of what makes your work so tangible and intangible at the same time. Since we have met, your work has always felt like an open vessel to reflect. In that sense, they are visual meditation cues. I have seen how putting your artwork in different light spaces influences the complete mood of a painting and how my mood completely alters the painting's analysis. Even when one is trained to be objective in describing an image, your work will always allude any form of hard analysis. This makes it great art; you can always find something new in one of your paintings.

    Marko and his love of the arts

    Morning Breaks (2018). Marko Klomp. Oil on Linen. 100cm x 80cm. Cantima Series

    4. What inspires you?

    My love for my profession is immense. I never have to actively look for inspiration. I don't need inspiration {ed. everything inspires him}.

    I work with projects. I choose a particular subject on which I make a series of paintings. These topics are spontaneous ideas or things thrown to me through the world's developments and/or the media. Examples of projects I have done are: "The last days of Eline Vere", series of paintings about Eline Vere from the book of the same name by Louis Couperus (1863-1923). And "Cantina" (Cantus = song, image = image from 2017-2018 in which I get inspired by music.

     

    ---

    Wat inspireert jou?

    Mijn liefde voor mijn vak is immens groot. Ik hoef nooit actief op zoek te gaan naar inspiratie. Inspiratie heb ik niet nodig.

    Ik werk met projecten. Ik kies een bepaald onderwerp waar ik een serie schilderijen over maak. Deze onderwerpen zijn spontane ingevingen of zaken die me toegeworpen worden middels de ontwikkelingen in wereld en/of de media. Voorbeelden van projecten die ik heb gedaan zijn: ‘De laatste dagen van Eline Vere’, serie schilderijen over Eline Vere uit het gelijknamige boek van Louis Couperus (1863-1923). En ‘Cantima’( Cantus= lied, imago=afbeelding uit 2017-2018 waarin ik me laat inspireren door muziek.

     

    Tascha: That is something I admire about you, you are very enthusiastic and love the arts wholly. 

    Signature of Marko Klomp from Left Behind X.

    5. Please tell us about your art.

    In my paintings, I let myself be guided by different facets of contrast. The use of a blurred focus is characteristic of my work. My painting technique is derived from "Sfumato"; That Italian for "going up in smoke". Leonardo Da Vinci already used the technique. People sometimes say: it seems like I have to put on glasses, I think that is the best compliment I can receive: someone does their best to focus themselves. That is what I want to achieve.

    In my art, I ask questions about immortality, the concept of life and death and escapism (Escapism: an urge to flee from reality).

    I also make commissioned portraits. Both adults and children. Sometimes even an image of a deceased.

     

     

    "I thought his portrait was not only the most beautiful but also the most intriguing. I was overwhelmed by his surprising way of painting, the soft colours and the fading contours that gave everything a poetic touch. It did not surprise me that besides being a good painter, he also became a good poet. I had the feeling that he "poetized" his paintings and "painted" his poems. "

    - From the foreword by Jeroen Krabbé (actor, director and artist) for the book 'Revisited' by Marko Klomp.

     

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    Vertel ons meer over jouw kunst

    Ik laat me in mijn schilderijen leiden door verschillende facetten van het contrast. Het gebruik van een onscherpe focus is kenmerkend voor mijn werk. Mijn schildertechniek is afgeleid van ‘Sfumato’; Dat italiaans voor ‘ in rook opgaan’. De techniek werd al door Leonardo Da Vinci gebruikt. Mensen zeggen wel eens: het lijkt alsof ik een bril moet opzetten, dat vind ik het mooiste compliment wat ik kan krijgen: iemand doet dan zijn best om zelf scherp te stellen. Dat is precies wat ik wil bereiken.

    In mijn kunst stelt ik vragen over onsterfelijkheid, het concept van leven en dood en escapisme (Escapisme: een drang om te vluchten uit de realiteit).

    Ik maak ook portretten in opdracht. Zowel volwassenen als kinderen. Soms ook een beeld van een overledene.

     

    “Ik vond zijn portret niet alleen het mooiste maar tevens het meest intrigerende. Ik was overdonderd door zijn verrassende manier van schilderen, de zachte kleuren en de vervagende contouren die aan alles een poëtische touch gaven. Het verbaasde mij dan ook niet dat hij buiten een goed schilder ook nog eens een goed dichter bleek te zijn. Ik had het het gevoel dat hij zijn schilderijen ‘dichtte’ en zijn gedichten ‘schilderde’.”

     

    — Uit het voorwoord van Jeroen Krabbé

    (acteur, regisseur en kunstenaar) voor het boek 'Revisited' van Marko Klomp.

     

    Tascha: Marko's paintings are deeply intriguing; I have never heard the same analysis of his work from two people. Even his oil technique is so delicate and precise that one viewer of his work asked me how this obvious print could dupe me. I showed her photos of the work being made and explained how not impressionistic and gestural brushstrokes define all oil paintings. That is why Van Gogh's and Impressionists work is so famous. They showed the materiality of the paint to create moving images. Most oil paintings were delicately and thinly layered. And yet with his "soft focus" technique, known indeed as sfumato that is centuries old, creates the same type of blur that we know from Impressionists. Your eyes need to focus the painting by itself. And the artwork is clearer from a distance, becoming more abstract as you move in closer to see the details.

    6. What is your most memorable experience as an artist?

    My participation in television programs. "Sterren op het doek" (2x) (broadcaster MAX) and "Krabbé zoekt van Gogh" (broadcaster Avrotros). Jeroen Krabbé (actor, director, painter) was the model for the first time at "Sterren op het canvas", the second time Hanneke Groenteman (presenter).

    I also participated in the TV program "Krabbé searches for van Gogh". Here I was allowed to follow Vincent van Gogh's footsteps by giving my interpretation of the grandmaster's work in the heart of Montmartre.

     

    ---

    Wat is je meest memorabele ervaring als kunstenaar?

    Mijn deelnames aan televisieprogramma's. “Sterren op het doek’ (2x) (omroep MAX) en ‘Krabbé zoekt van Gogh’ (omroep avrotros).  De eerste keer bij ‘Sterren op het doek’ heeft Jeroen Krabbé (acteur, regisseur, kunstschilder) model gestaan, de tweede keer Hanneke Groenteman (presentatrice).

    Ook heb ik aan het TV-programma' ‘Krabbé zoekt van Gogh’ meegewerkt. Hier mocht ik in de voetsporen treden van Vincent van Gogh door in het hart van Montmartre mijn interpretatie te geven op het werk van de grootmeester.

     

    The impact of health and perception on his art.

    Left Behind V (2019). Marko Klomp. Oil on Panel. 50cm x 40cm.

    7. What’s your greatest fear for the arts?

    In 2004 I was diagnosed with MS [ed. Multiple sclerose (MS)]. Finally, I have experienced more stability for a few years now, but sometimes I fear the future. In particular, the loss of my facial expression, one of the symptoms of MS that can occur later in life.

     

    ---

    Wat is je grootste angst voor kunst?

    In 2004 heb ik de diagnose MS  [ed. Multiple sclerose (MS)] te horen gekregen. Eindelijk ervaar ik, sinds enkele jaren, meer stabiliteit, maar soms ben ik bang voor de toekomst. In het specifiek het verlies van mijn gezichtsvermogen, één van de symptomen van MS, die kunnen optreden op latere leeftijd.

     

     

    Tascha: Thank you for sharing this with us. MS for those you do not know is an autoimmune disease where chronic inflammation in the nervous system breaks down so many aspects of mobility. Even though MS affects everyone differently, it usually has an immense impact on the energy levels, to the point of making daily life near impossible. It is a gift, Marko; you can still share your artistic talents with us.

    8. Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started as an artist?

    That painting is more than just a creative activity. Now more than ever, artistry is also about entrepreneurship.

     

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    Als je terugkijkt, wat zou je willen dat je het beter begreep voordat je ooit als kunstenaar begon?

    Dat schilderen meer is dan alleen een creatieve bezigheid. Nu meer dan ooit, gaat het kunstenaarschap ook om ondernemerschap.

     

    Tascha: This enormous package is also what motivated me to start the gallery. It is challenging to juggle all the balls of being an artist. In business terms, artists are head of the production, research in development, marketing, customer service, accounting, warehouse and sales. A gallery tries to take some of that burden away. So an artist can create and inspire.

    9. What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey as an artist?

    It is important to me to radiate enthusiasm and love for the profession. Show the outside world that you fully support your choices.

    I also find it essential to pay attention to things that have nothing to do with art, which I was not trained for at all—side issues such as marketing, presentation, web design, accounting, documentation, etc.

     

    ---

    Wat zijn de strategieën die u hebben geholpen om succesvol te worden op uw reis als kunstenaar?

    Enthousiasme en liefde uitstralen voor het vak vind ik het belangrijk. Naar de buitenwereld laten zien dat je volledig achter je keuzes staat.

    Ook aandacht geven aan dingen die niets met kunst te maken hebben vind ik belangrijk. Waar ik helemaal niet voor ben opgeleid. Bijzaken zoals marketing, presentatie, webdesign, boekhouden, documentatie enz.

     

    Tascha: Enthusiasm for your profession is good advice for everyone. With your enthusiasm, you are motivating and great to work with.  

        10. What keeps you going when things get tough?

        I may be too tired to work at times, but I don't have other difficult situations. I always like to meditate to strengthen my state of mind, and therefore also my painting.

         

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        Wat houdt je op de been als het moeilijk wordt?

        Het kan zijn dat ik soms te moe ben om te werken, maar andere moeilijke situaties heb ik niet. Mediteren vind ik altijd fijn om mijn gemoedstoestand, en dus ook mijn schilderkunst, kracht bij te staan.

         

        Tascha: Even though it is good to reflect on your blessings, you are also allowed to acknowledge your hardships. I am glad you have found ways to support yourself.

        11. What is the one thing you wish people knew more about art?

        That art is more than a 'beautiful' picture from the mind of an artist. Art represents the soul work of an artist and also the zeitgeist in which he lives.

         

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        Wat wou je dat meer mensen wist over kunst?

        Dat kunst meer is dan een ‘mooi’ plaatje uit het hoofd van een kunstenaar. Kunst vertegenwoordigt het zielswerk van een kunstenaar en daarbij ook de tijdgeest waarin hij leeft.

         

        Tascha: Ever since I have seen your work, I have known that you manage to capture our post-Globalization world.

        Main painting in room: Left Behind X (2020) by Marko Klomp. Oil on Linen. 100cm x 120cm.

        Solo Exhibition: Marko Klomp a monograph curated by Art Historian Wouter Maas.

        Room Illustration done by D'Avellone van Dijk.

        Final thoughts

        After this interview, it has become apparent how Marko's paintings cannot encapsulate in words fully. He can combine so many different humanities elements in his work, without each painting being lost in a conceptual haze even though a soft haze characterizes his work. His work is accessible and inspiring.

         

        Thank you, Marko, for sharing your art and your own journey with us. We are always mesmerized by every artwork. I think curator Wouter Maas will agree that looking at your paintings is like taking a holiday. And from this interview, we learned you add mental fortitude into every image. One, we, as a viewer, benefit from immensely.


        We hope everyone enjoyed learning more about Marko, his art and his influences. His exhibition: Left Behind a monograph of Landscapes curated by Wouter Maas runs until the end of February 2021.

        Love,

        Tascha Sciarone

        Gallery Manager at

        Gallery Sorelle Sciarone

        Art Historian and Gallery Manager Tascha Sciarone. Photo by Benjamin de Groot.


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