SELFIES FROM THE BIJLMERBAJES - 2019
When I moved into my studio in the former prison Bijlmerbajes in January 2019 I decided to start every working day with a fast (one hour) self portrait painted from the mirror. This series is the result of that decision.
My paint box contained about thirtytwo tubes of paint. Every morning I let fate decide,
using a random number app on my phone, with which four colours I was going to work
that day. In this way I could surprise myself, and begin the day with a challenge to
express my mood in the mirror with a palette of four randomly chosen colours.
After I finished those four tubes were left outside the box – the next draw of four would be taken from the rest. I went on like this until the box was empty, and then I’d start again with a full box, and so on.
The other rules of the game were that I was not allowed to start again or discard a selfie, and also that I would no longer touch a painting after that first one session of more or less an hour. So they are nice and raw, made in one intense session and straight from the easel onto the wall.
Somewhere along in the first month I set the goal at 81 – a more or less random end point ("a lot") - and 184 days after the start I painted the final one. Gradually the plan had formed of how that end should look, and that became a short but sweet show in the Bijlmerbajes in October 2019 and a book.
The Selfies are painted in oil on paper, measure 33 cm by 41 cm, and are for sale for €350 a piece. They are numbered and dated on the front, and signed on the back.
The first edition of the book is sold out, the second edition is expected in 2022.