PIETER ATHMER

I was born in Copenhagen, Denmark into a Dutch family as the youngest of five children. By the time I could run around we moved to The Hague in the Netherlands where I learnt to draw and paint. From the age of thirteen I attended a boarding school in Staffordshire, England. In the course of my six years there I learned to love Shakespeare and how to look through the lens of a camera. And I transformed from a Dutch rascal into an English young man. At nineteen I moved to Amsterdam where I still live now.

I graduated at the university of Amsterdam with a master in physics and then immediately retrained to become a theatre director. Nowhere did I feel so at home as in the theatre. In a period of about twenty adventurous years I was part of a great many theatre productions, ranging from opera to stand-up comedy. This is where I learned to look.

In 2003 I was given a son, which made life so much better.

I started writing, first for the stage and later also for TV. Then in 2014 I made one more big switch: I decided to completely focus on painting.

It feels both like coming home, and like starting on a fabulous, massive journey. Everything I’ve done so far in my life seems to have been the necessary preparation for this, for what I do now.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Every person deserves to, and needs to be seen.

I am good at seeing people and through my work I can let them be seen by others.

I make paintings depicting real people.

Painting takes time; an essential element because time means attention, and that genuine attention translates into the liveliness of the picture. I paint from life because I believe in the value of continuous change. Not the split second as seen by the single eye of the camera, but many hours of careful scrutiny by two moving eyes.

My style of painting is free and intuitive on a naturalistic basis. I lean towards bold colours and the work is easily identifiable as mine. My style is not a concept, it is what happens when I become one with the proces and work without a design.

Real people are not brand new, but used. I think every human being is fascinating and beautiful. I want to show them in the full glory of their life experience.

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