Homa Taj In Conversation with Dutch Artist Bas de Wit

Bas de Wit, Private Ambulance, 2010

Bas de Wit (1977)
Born in: Budel, The Netherlands
Lives in: Maastricht, The Netherlands
Dealer: Figge von Rosen Galerie (Berlin/Cologne)

Artist’s statement –
Making monuments to the huge fiasco of your very own enthusiasm

MV – Favourite movie(s) & director(s) –
My Top 5000 List begins with: 
Stanley Kubrick (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest); Stanley Kubrick (Dr. Strangelove), Mary Poppins (the movie), Federico Fellini; Todd Solonz (The NeverEnding Story), Roy Andersson (Songs From the Second Floor), John Frankenheimer (Seconds), Harmony Korine (Gummo), Peter Greenaway, Happiness, Black Cat White Cat and Them! (1954).

MV – Favourite book(s) & author(s) –
Alfred Jarry and Miguel de Cervantes (Don Quixote).

MV – Favourite cultural centre(s)/ museum(s) –
Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, Tate Modern & the National Gallery in London, K 20/21 in Dusseldorf, New Museum in NYC and the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht… also, Het Domein in Sittard, Schunck in Heerlen, MoMA in New York, Gagosian Gallery, Figge von Rosen Galerie, Galerie EIGEN + ART, White Cube in London, CONTEMPORARY FINE ARTS, Van Gogh Museum, etc etc etc etc.

I like everything!

MV – Your most aesthetically (sensual/ spiritual/ intellectual) inspired experience –
Oil sweat and tears, 2010, 250 x 190 cm, acrylic on canvas.

MV – Art (books, movie, exhibition, museum, etc) wish list –
A painting by Vincent van Gogh

MV – Most inspiring city –
Machu Picchu and New York

MV – Most influential – person, character, artist, filmmaker, writer, etc –
My Top 100 Most Influential People’s List (starting with…):

Thomas Edison, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther, Galileo Galilei, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Ferdinand Magellan, Louis Pasteur, Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, William Shakespeare, Napoleon Bonaparte, Zheng He, Henry Ford, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Nicolaus Copernicus, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Albert Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi, Kublai Khan, James Madison, Simon Bolivar, Mary Wollstonecraft, Guglielmo Marconi, Mao Zedong, Vladimir Lenin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Alexander Graham Bell, Rene Descartes, Ludwig van Beethoven, St. Thomas Aquinas, Abraham Lincoln, Michelangelo, Vasco da Gama, Suleyman the Magnificent, Samuel F.B. Morse, John Calvin, Florence Nightingale, Hernan Cortes, Joseph Lister, Ibn Battuta, Zhu Xi, Gregor Mendel, John Locke, Akbar, Marco Polo, Dante Alighiere, John D. Rockefeller, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Niels Bohr, Joan of Arc, Frederick Douglass, Louis XIV, Nikola Tesla, Immanuel Kant, Fan Kuan, Otto von Bismarck, William the Conqueror, Guido of Arezzo, John Harrison, Pope Innocent III, Hiram Maxim, Jane Addams, Cao Xueqin, Matteo Ricci, Louis Armstrong, Michael Faraday, Ibn-Sina, Simone de Beauvoir, Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi, Adam Smith, Marie Curie, Andrea Palladio, Peter the Great, Pablo Picasso, Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, Phineas T. Barnum, Edwin Hubble, Susan B. Anthony, Raphael, Helen Keller, Hokusai, Theodor Herzl, Queen Elizabeth I, Claudio Monteverdi, Walt Disney, Nelson Mandela, Roger Bannister, Leo Tolstoy, John von Neumann, Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Jacques Cousteau, Catherine de Medicis, Ibn-Khaldun, Kwame Nkruma, Carolus Linnaeus…

MV – Most challenging aspect of working in the art world (& its institutions) –
Becoming the artist you are!

MV – Most gratifying aspect of being a part of the art world (& its institutions) –
Don’t become the artist they want you to be!

MV – Always carry with you … –
My past.

MV – What are arts patrons’ responsibilities, if any?
Parenting, if they have any kids.

MV – What are artists’ responsibilities to their art or(?) to society, if any?
Strive for the masterly, the great, the consummate, however painful the situation you have created for yourself

Maybe a short tekst [courtesy Bonnefanten Museum & the artist] about my work is something to contribute: 

The grotesque ‘motley crew’ that the sculptures and paintings of Bas de Wit populate, take possession of the space as only unwanted visitors do and thereby carefree swinging one dirty joke after another in to the hall.

What his image arsenal is concerned, Bas de Wit is a glutton.

Bas de Wit is also a multi-talent, a painter / sculptor, with the greatest ease he jumps from one medium to another.

A nervous chaos winds through the work of Bas de Wit.

Bas de Wit shares his preference for assembly and grotesque imagery with the viewer of his work. He shows us a hilarious, slightly ominous and mostly politically incorrect shadow world in which everything that we thought was good and innocent, has changed to its opposite. Luckily, it never becomes pretentious or overtly moralistic.

Bas de Wit is a somewhat laconic workaholic whose production now requires a big hall where he, in the noxious fumes of epoxy, polyester and polyurethaan works himself in sweat, all day. The assembled sculptures come together in an associative process and getting created giving a huge momentum along, like they could jump right off their pedestal. But make no mistake; Bas de Wit works predominantly with molds and casts, and that requires preparation, technical control and customization. The surprise, for Bas de Wit himself as well, lies in the finishing touch, when the work is given one last kick in the butt , it may be an addition as for instance a black crow on a devoured corpus with very impressive genitals, or a absurd title that suggests an inimitable mental leap (The more you cry the less you pee).

What sets Bas de Wit apart from others is his reckless imagination. Funny, provocative and sometimes touching, everything by Bas de Wit is left open to the maximum, both in form and content.

Bas de Wit! ……. If you had a fan club, I’d join!