1960-70

Academy & Anarchy

Academy – Atelier – Teaching – Engagement – Publications

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On the road

Along the road with a backpack and a drawing portfolio, the thumb up until a car takes you, we’ll see where we get, at night with a tent on the roadside.

Hitchhiking criss-cross through Europe – from Helsinki to Istanbul, from Dublin to Prague – is an effective way to get to know peculiar cultures and unusual people, just as drawing on the road allows you to penetrate deeply into landscapes, cities and buildings.

And between wanderings, an adventurous life awaits at art school and beyond.

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1961-’63 / ’65-’68 Studies ‘free art’ at Minerva Academy in Groningen

1961-’63

In the early 1960s, the Minerva Academy was still one of the last art schools in the Netherlands with a traditionally ‘Academic’ education, with subjects such as plaster drawing, anatomical drawing, still life, drawing from nature, etc. However, new teachers with ‘Modernist’ ideas were already being recruited in 1961, such as Diederik Kraaijpoel, later an influential publicist (and a dear friend over the years).

1965-’68

After a two-year interval, studies were resumed at the Minerva Academy, where by now “Modernism” reigned supreme. Which did not alter the fact that subjects like model study, portraiture and anatomy were still taught.

Also draws the comic ‘Superzwier’ (published by Academy Minerva) and drawings for the Frisian literary magazine ‘A-Wyt’.

Superzwier – A-Wyt

1968

Art history of the future

May 1968: The final exam exhibition took place in the Groninger museum. The accompanying art history thesis was about ‘The art of the 21st century’

The argument boiled down to the fact that ‘modern art’ could not forever continue to rebel against the ancestral ‘classical’ tradition like an adolescent and that sooner or later a mature synthesis had to be sought.

The thesis then described what art might look like 50 years from now: the possible sources and application of both old and new techniques with contemporary themes and insights.                                                      

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1968-’70

Lives and works in farmhouse ‘t Vinkhuys, Groningen

Apocalypse

In the ‘Revelations of John’ series, inspiring visions were combined with classical skills, with contemporary interpretations.

Whether the visions of John of Patmos are predictive remains to be seen, but they are certainly visual…

KRO TV dedicated a broadcast to this version of Apocalypse in 1969; it was later released as an album.

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Spillebuik

From chapter ‘Falsestreet,’ the introduction to the world of finance

Draws the underground comic strip “Spillebuik”

In which an errant youth is introduced to all kinds of aspects of society, with his way being shown (?) by Juttemis, the pillar saint.

The Iron Curtain

Behind the ‘Iron Curtain,’ in the Balkans and also in Turkey, unknown and unusual cultures awaited the curious explorer.

And every wander around Europe led back to piles of drawings.

Commissions included New Year cards for KRO and Leeuwarder Courant; illustrations for the magazines 3 x Bellen and Bijster.

New Year card Catholic Radio Broadcasting

New Year card Leeuwarder Courant

Designs, together with Marinus Dieleman, on behalf of the Frisian New Left movement, a “Cultural, cum Creative, cum Recreational Centre”. According to the interview in the Leeuwarder Courant, “a summary of cultural events” that includes a theatre, a concert hall, exhibition space, library, discotheque, restaurant, pubs, nightclubs and brothels.”

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1963-’65

During the ‘gap years’ between two studies, he ended up in the ‘Special Youth Work in Boarding Schools’ (Ministry of Culture, Recreation & Social Work). And this was at the boarding school ‘De Hertenkamp’ in Hollandsche Rading as a creative labour activity leader with ‘difficult-to-educate, retarded boys’ aged 6-16.
It became an introduction to educational didactics for life.

Then works for a while as a substitute teacher of ‘Technical Sketching’ at the 2nd Technical School, Westerstraat in Amsterdam.

And then decides to resume studies at the Academie Minerva

1968-’69

After finishing his studies, works for a few years as a drawing teacher at an MULO/MAVO in Leeuwarden.

MULO/MAVO, Leeuwarden

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Anarchy

Beeg ’62

1962 Is co-founder – together with Sikke Doele and others – of the artist centre ‘Beeg 62’ in Leeuwarden.

It was a hotspot of modern jazz, experimental theatre, philosophy of existence, readings of its own poetry, exchange of new literature and an exhibition hall.  And also of sultry parties …

Parents forbade their daughters to visit this sinful place, which only encouraged them

New Left

Is spokesperson of the Frisian ‘Provo’ movement ‘New Left’ from 1966 (with Evert Duintjer Tebbens); leads demonstrations, addresses crowds, gives lectures, readings and interviews and writes for the provocative periodical ‘POR’.

And clashes regularly with the police chief, strict believers, petty bourgeois and other, mostly older, conservatives who want to preserve pre-war structures.

The announcement of ‘the solemn castration with a hacksaw of the statue of Mercury, symbol of the nauseating middle class’ led to a curious crowd. There was no hacksaw anywhere to be seen, so the police carried outt charges to liven up the event.  Days of riots followed in Leeuwarden. When Molotov cocktails were thrown, it was enough: non-violence was a basic principle. The New Left disbanded itself.

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1971: Release of the comic strip ‘Spillebuik’ (publisher: St. Kreatie-F, Groningen). The strip is well received, included in various catalogues and in a travelling exhibition on comics and their illustrators organised by the Dutch Art Foundation.

1972: Release of the album ‘De Openbaring van Johannes’ (publisher: Holmsterland, Groningen).

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Click here to open PDF: ‘The Revelation of John’ 

Click here to open PDF: a chapter of  Spillebuik

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Video: Long Hair in Leeuwarden