Interview with Stef Fridael

How did you find your voice as an artist ?

I can, as if it happened yesterday, still remember that I made my first little masterpiece. I was a child of 8 years in the 3rd grade of a strict Dutch Catholic primary school. Once in school we were allowed an hour of drawing and I had drawn a thick bird flying over the paper with strange wings and unwise many colors. The bird was still a long way to the south, where the climate was warmer than the winter in our country at that time. When the teacher saw my drawing he was deeply moved, he was silent, did not know what to say. Later he took my drawing home. There at that moment I experienced how art can affect a person. From then on I knew subconsciously certainly, I’m going to be an artist.

Painting by Stef Fridael, Ahasverus at Westminster Bridge London, 2017, Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm

What is your art about ?

My art inquires into the realm of instincts of humans, fear, lust, safety, abuse, courage, To be or not To be: establishes a channel of communication between symbolism and representation, to challenge the relationship between the viewers’ perceptual parameters and their cultural substratum. My artworks induce you to elaborate personal associations, offering at the same time a captivating multilayered aesthetic experience. One of the aspects of my work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of exploring a wide variety of human feelings.

Painting by Stef Fridael, Ahasverus at the end of the world, 2017, Oil on canvas, 70 x 70 cm

When working on a new project, what are the first steps you take?

The first step after getting inspiration from the impressions that come to me through my daily environment, TV, the Internet, news and activities is creating notes and drawings in my sketchbook that I always have with me. And then sometimes I work it out later in that same book. In my studio I’m doing research on the given topic from my sketchbook and the underlying message and in witch art form I go to work on it. So I wonder why I want to make this work, what I want to tell and how I’m going to present it. After this research I find the right source material for the artwork. That can include photos I made, pictures from the Internet or a sketch I worked out or just a picture that I have in my head. Then I make long days sometimes weeks and months to work on developing it.

Painting by Stef Fridael, LoveSong, 2018, Oil on canvas, 100 x 140 cm

Do you have a vision of what your artistic future might look like?

I admire the great artists of this time such as Damien Hirst, Ai Wei Wei, Gehrard Richter, Alex Katz and Yayoi Kusama. That what they have achieved in their artists career is what I want to achieve, that’s my dream, that is my future goal. For that I work so hard and it may sound very cliché but the chance to make such a big career as an artist is the greatest wish for me.

How would you describe the recent artistic scene in Netherlands ?

In the Netherlands, an art climate has arisen where the Dutch artist does not have to expect support from the government and is totally unsupported. The widely-admired cultural infrastructure of the Netherlands has largely been demolished and young artists from other countries no longer settle here. As a result, the Dutch artists are increasingly becoming self-reliant, have to take a part-time job to survive and have become much more dependent on people with the big money and the Mecena’s. The artist has become much more an entrepreneur to keep his head above the water. This has created a climate in the art scene in which artists have to focus on themselves to realise an art career. Strangely enough, research has shown that the art scene in the Netherlands has increased in the past year.

Painting by Stef Fridael, Ahasverus at BaTaClan Paris, 2017, Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm

Stef Fridael’s Singulart profile :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *