theo overgaauw

Theo Overgaauw is a contemporary artist whose works appear in private collections national and international.

Born in The Hague, the Netherlands, he studied at the Vrije Academie, the Hague and was invited to attend a week-long workshop given by Jörg Immendorff at the Rijksademie in Amsterdam.

Before he left school he had no idea what career he wanted to pursue. He visited a career advisor and was told that he should choose between creative or administrative.
He choose to become an accountant but did not succeed. He found a job as an administrative clerk and in the evenings followed a course on photography.
Digital and photoshop did not exist or if it did he didn’t know about it and would not have been able to afford it. He found photography very limiting and started drawing on photos. The next step was painting and that was like carpe diem and he finds this still to be true.

Today Theo lives and works in Sellingen, the Netherlands.
Publications
2023 works published in Subo Art magazine page 74-75
2023 works published in Divide Magazine Issue 5
Exhibitions;

Solo;

2002 Galerie de Lange, Emmen, the Netherlands

Group;

2023 Virtual exhibit juice box - Fresh Salad art
2022 Virtual exhibit juice box - Fresh Salad art
2022 Virtual exhibit Painters Tubes Gallery
2021/2022 Virtual exhibit The Holy Art London
2015 Salon des Refusés, Groningen, the Netherlands
2011 EM galerie 'Hommage aan de Collectioneur Klaas en Alie Brandsma', Drachten, the Netherlands
2008 Hanzehofmuseum Zutphen
2007 Galerie Nijehove, Diepenheim, The Netherlands
2004 Kunstrai met Galerie de Lange, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2004 Galerie de Lange, Emmen, the Netherlands
2003 Galerie de Lange, Emmen, the Netherlands
2003 Kunstrai met Galerie de Lange, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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My work changes every few years. I find it difficult to continue the same ideas and techniques. Over time, the challenge and surprise dissipate, making my process feel a bit like paint by number.
At the academy, I started with figurative work and have since moved from figurative to abstract and now back to figurative painting. Each evolution is a slow process, but every time I am challenged to get things working again.
The loss of a loved one influenced some of these changes, while a move from the big city to the country have influenced others.
Presently I am focused on the relationship between religion (I am not a fond believer), men and women and how it affects us all.
I mix abstract and figurative styles in my work, though there are periods when abstract work has the upper hand and there are periods when things are much more figurative.
I prefer working with acrylics and oil paints on linen. With a blank canvas and little to no preliminary studies, I just take off with acrylic paint. Detailed preliminary studies make me feel uncomfortable, scared of colouring outside the lines and, thus, kill the fun of painting and the work itself.
Could you tell us more about your background and how you began creating art?

I started drawing from an early age using mainly oil pastels on anything that was available. Not even wallpaper was save. My parents didn’t mind as long as I only drew on the wallpaper of my own room. At school, from a certain age, we had a weekly art class where we worked with watercolours. After graduation, I went to the Vrije Academie where abstract work was the main thing, so I started working figuratively/realistically.

What does your art aim to say to its viewers? 

I always like to connect the two worlds, abstract with figurative. I don’t think there is any difference in the feeling/emotions you can get from either and therefore, I like the viewer to see that you can be very figurative in abstract work and vice versa. But also important I like them to recognise the pleasure/fun in paint and painting, its structure and flow, the combination of color and that it’s not only about the finished product.
 
Can you tell us about the process of creating your work? What is your daily routine when working?

I start working in the morning after walking the dog and continue for as long as it takes(hurray for led’s). I make very little preparations and very little to no preliminary studies. It kills the mood and the surprise that paint and painting must have. That also means that mistakes are involved, and correcting mistakes is challenging and that can lead to surprising new effects or views.

What is the essential element in your art?

Essential in my work is that there always has to be something unsettling, a twist. And what I mentioned before under two is that the fun that I had in painting should be visible to the viewer.

In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society? 

To those that look for it there can be a connection when they recognise something of themselves in art that can acknowledge an emotion or experience. To me that is the sole purpose of art.
about | theo overgaauw
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