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Rick van den Berg

Rick with a work of art

Rick grew up in a loving and caring environment and spent a lot of his time on drawing. This was much encouraged by his parents, both during his childhood and afterwards. From the age of fifteen, Rick began to paint on canvas. From the moment that his first paintings became a fact, Rick’s interest shifted from drawing in pencil towards painting portraits and colourful abstractions. Soon, he also started painting on commission.

Exactly as he had envisioned, Rick started his educational training at the Academy of Arts. For four years, Rick continued to paint but also experimented with graphic techniques, sculpting, photography and video art. Etching turned out to be a great means to give form to ideas, which caused painting to fade into the background, at least for a little while. Several exhibitions with graphic work followed and Rick even produced a couple of artist books containing his graphic work. Finally, he graduated with an artist book that combined paintings, design and silk-screen printed clothing.

After graduation, Rick quickly switched back to painting. His experiments with a wide diversity of forms, styles and techniques ultimately resulted in a more balanced and stable style of painting. The most common theme in Rick’s work is the power of dreams, imagination and fantasy. To express these themes he combines portraits, elements of nature, symbolism, geometry and organic abstractions. In his latest paintings he adds sexual images to this mix of elements, with a contemporary homage to classical paintings. It becomes a symbiosis between humans and nature in a universe where everything is interconnected. A world adhering to nature and following the flow of love.

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Origin Of Joy

Rick and Veerle with an artwork

In 2009 Rick and Veerle met. It turned out that both had done the exact same program at the Grafisch Lyceum and continued studying at the Academy of Arts. Even the minor program was the exact same: graphic techniques. Finally and fortunately, the artists met in the graphics atelier at the academy. After seven years of overlooking each other they met just before Rick’s graduation.

Soon they moved in together and worked individually in their own atelier. Veerle was still focused on using textile whereas Rick preferred paint. Still, cooperation turned out to be inevitable. Themes in their artworks seemed to collide more and more and their shared passion for colour could not be denied. Their first joint artwork was an immediate explosion of colours. origin of joy fotoThe following works were all brightly coloured and their shapes and styles started to merge and mingle very naturally. By experimenting with different materials and supports their series of joint artworks increased rapidly.

This series of works carries the name Origin of Joy. This title hints at the desire of the artists: conveying positive energy. The goal of their art is to bring a smile to people’s face and give more colour to their lives. By sowing the seeds of positivism the world will slowly but surely start to look more beautiful. This is the core philosophy behind the Origin of Joy.

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Veerle Ritstier

Veerle with an sculpture

Creativity runs through Veerle’s veins. In her younger years she tried a lot of different techniques: painting, textile, sculpting, weaving, et cetera. Why would you choose if you have so many favourite options? At the age of fourteen, she exhibits her work in the textile museum. She also enters the competition ‘The comic of your life’ which results in her story being exhibited at the Maritime Museum. Her parents take her on regular visits to museums and art fairs and fill the entire house with colourful artworks. She is fully convinced to become an artist.

During her four years at the Academy of Arts textile becomes her focal point. By hand, she sews eighteen unique works. These textile sculptures form a group carrying the family name ‘Doda’. On the side, she starts making etchings. After the decease of her mother, during the third year of her educational training, she uses this technique to make a commemorative portrait of her. Veerle graduates with her Doda family project. Each Doda is documented with its source of inspiration in an artist book which is part of the presentation.

After graduating, Veerle made a couple of Doda’s on commission. However, her interest in painting, photography, and sculpting slowly starts to grow. In using these media she focuses on giving shape to quantum physic abstractions. Her work varies from zooming in on matter and metamorphoses to the merging of user and object. Essentially the conviction that ‘all is one’ lies at the heart of Veerle’s work. Humans are no exception, which can be seen in the series Theatrum, because we are one with everything around us. Lately her focus switched to sculpting. She crafts highly detailed pieces where (human)  anatomy and natural elements merge into surreal environments.

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She also has a health coach practice, where she coaches people to get their health back.

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