sábado, 30 de julio de 2016


Christa Zaat

Poen de Wijs (Dutch artist) 1948 – 2014
Masquerade (Portrait of The Actor Fred Delfgaauw), 2011 
acrylic on canvas 
100 X 100 cm.
private collection

They have known each other from the moment that Fred, as a young boy, received drawing lessons from Poen's studio. There he learned life drawing, still life drawing, in charcoal and in watercolour; the basic exercises of the fine arts. "At that time Poen opened some creative shutters with me" Fred says about the drawing lessons. And Poen about Fred: "He was 13 years and all artistic impulses coming towards him must have made an impression on his young mind. My big house was filled with artists and musicians. It resonated with creativity." Fred knew then: "Working with so much passion, that’s what I want, too!" That he was to become a theatre maker was only forfilled in time!
When they met again after many years, a spontaneous plan arose, to make a series of paintings about Fred as a theatre maker. Poen had laid down many famous and lesser known artists, musicians, actors, dancers and clowns on the canvas (including the musical clown’s duo MINI and MAXI), but a theatre maker, working with puppets and masks, which is much more than just an actor, that was new to him.
Once Poen began with the development of the spontaneous idea, a series of paintings about the theatre maker Fred Delfgaauw, he didn’t know to where that eventually would lead. He began a quest, in which he knew one thing in advance for sure: he didn’t want to make just a recording of the performances of Fred, but it should become a personal vision of Fred and his work.
And so a year followed with visiting shows, movies, clips and watching old photographs, reviews, articles and reading books, talking with Fred and with people around him, to continue with sketches and doodles, with studies of facial expressions, with some photo sessions, with preliminary studies to finally paint twenty works on canvas. All this led to two exhibitions in the ‘Gorcums Museum’ and in Gallery ‘De Twee Pauwen’ in The Hague, and was captured in the documentary film "Moments" by John Vijlbrief and in a catalogue.

Text: press release for exhibition "MOMENTS"
Fred Delfgaauw 30 years theatre maker painted by Poen de Wijs

* * *

Poen de Wijs was born in the town of Nijmegen, in the east of The Netherlands. As an introvert boy he liked to withdraw with his recorder, studying baroque music for many hours a day. During secondary school he already started at the Conservatory of Tilburg. His childhood sweetheart Margriet, with whom he was to marry soon, started studying flute, while Poen discovered that he actually liked drawing more than the recorder. To his surprise (and of his parents) he was attended to the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague. There he felt at home and found his destination. But music never left his life. Although drawing had becoming his passion, he still liked playing along with his wife or with other musicians. During his studies he lived among music students, and when in 1971 he bought a large, fourteen-room dilapidated house, the rooms were soon to be filled with musicians. All day long the house was a cacophony of sounds, while Poen was working in his attic studio (the place where he still works).

The first years of his career he worked very abstract, and from 1977 he started to paint more realistic. This is also the year that the musical group Flairck formed in his house, and soon gained a big succes in the Netherlands. One of Poen’s first realistic watercolours was chosen by the band for the vinyl cover, under protest of the record company. Many lp’s and covers were to follow.

In his earlier period Poen combined nudes with abstract elements. Later he combined images from art history with contemporary subjects. Since the 1990s he has interwoven the theme of cultural integration into almost all his works. Poen likes to paint the people of today, young and old, men and women of all races and cultures. He surrounds them with animals, with musical instruments, with still lifes, with decorative patterns, with structures, in a virtuoso game and with brilliant technique.

To see more of Poen's work, have a look at his website here: http://www.poendewijs.nl/

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