Tjebbe Beekman: Symbiosis

Ira, 2020. Acrylic, sand, and plaster on canvas mounted to wood panels, 32 1/2 x 25 3/8 inches each. Courtesy the artist and GRIMM, Amsterdam and New York.

In conversing with the Dutch painter Tjebbe Beekman about his upcoming exhibition at Grimm, it seemed to me that it mattered as an introduction to his work:
He says he has spent “the last 25 years, just about, in dirty rooms with loud music on,” and how that “impacts what he does just as surely as the political climate” and his actual living place,
The studio where I work now is around 160 square meters. The studio is for an artist [painter] like me of course one of the most sacred and important places there is, at the border of Amsterdam in a nature park overlooking a lake and we live on a houseboat in the center of the city.

I’ve divided the place into a dirty room (very much the studio cell that is exemplary for an artist studio only now with a lake view) and a clean room where I can finish the paintings in a more home-like or gallery-like atmosphere where we grow plants, I have my record collection and book collection to choose from, and we built in a kitchen and shower, etc.

So different from his studio in Berlin, “overlooking the biggest prison for political opponents in Berlin GDR time.” And the light in Berlin had been so different:

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