Can you tell us a bit about you?
I’m a Dutch artist born and bred in The Netherlands. I grew up in a small village in the green hart of Holland. My parents house was huge and surrounded by a big mysterious garden were we kept all sorts of animals…. horses, dogs, chicken, goats, hundreds of pigeons, mice, ducks etc. a bit like Animal Farm amidst endless forests with lakes and heaths. A perfect place for a child to grow up and develop a dreamy fantasyworld. As the Benjamin of the family I was free to do what I wanted from the start. And that’s how I liked my life to be.
Once I came to the age that you start questioning life as such I realised that there is more than meets the eye. The dreamworld I was living in as a child seemed deceptive and normal reality sometimes became Kafkaesque. Those experiences turned into ingredients I now use in my work as an artist. When I was 18 years old I moved to Amsterdam. Time to study Modern dance, Drama at the dramaschool and working as an actor a few years before going to Art school. I loved the traditional education at the Royal Academy with life model drawing and painting still life in oils. But after a year I realised that I needed more excitement so I went to the Rietveld academy where I felt like a fish in water. Here I could explore all fantasies in whatever medium. Film, performance, writing, painting, animation and music were fields to discover. It was the perfect place for me to focuss on my artistic qualities and how my art could reflect my ideas that I liked to express. After my degree I went to the Rijksacademy of arts for my Masters. A perfect opportunity to deepen my thoughts about art, modern western society, filosophy and painting. Now I felt ready to show my work and next to painting I started designing stage sets for the theatre. The environments which I designed for the performing art on stage were like my paintings but then threedimensional. What an exciting way of bringing all kinds of expressions together. Working with actors, singers and musicians in an estranging stage set was an ultimate way of expressing my fantasies. Fantasies like I could see in my childhood. After many years designing stage sets and painting realistic landscapes I wanted to sharpen my visions of art and I got admitted to Goldsmiths College in London for a second MA to do so. Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Michael Raedecker studied there to name a few so for me to find out what was going on there. An intense overwhelming year followed where I felt more free and pushed to think outside the box. That time I was offered to show my first soloshow at the Economist Building in London and from one show came the other. I stayed living and working in London for 6 years till 2006 when I moved back to Amsterdam.
How did you find your voice as an Artist?
I always knew what I was going to do in life. Making art is just a natural thing for me to do…a way of living which fits me best.
Has your approach and process changed throughout your artistic career?
Through the years life gives you so much new input and advantages that it is always good to look back on the work you created in the past. Times are changing and as a person you grow and pick up new ideas so a new content might need a new form. However looking at my works I can clearly see the thread that links them all. What didn’t change is my choice to depict my visions in paint. My way of painting might get more loose or more provocative…time will tell.
Can you tell us something about your series “Zones”?
In my ‘Zones’ I like to depict areas where anything could happen. Non places with an emphasize on mystery and silence. Light and radiation can play an alienating role in the works. The Zones can be a playground where different worlds come together in order to create a new reality.
Which artists do you admire?
There are so many artworks that inspire me that it’s hard to make a choice to name them here. Nevertheless I am always intrigued by the video’s by Bill Viola, performances of Marina Abramovic, films by Tarkovsky, paintings by Anselm Kiefer, Edward Hopper, Rob Scholte, Glenn Brown, The Chapman brothers, the music of Sebastian Bach, the architecture of Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, the ancient temple of Angkor Wat in Combodia, the Pyramides, Anish Kapoor, Bruce Nauman to name a few… what a World we live in!
The artist’s website: http://www.g-brecht.com/
G-Brecht on Singulart: https://www.singulart.com/en/artist/g-brecht-391