Homa Taj In Conversation with Dutch artist Tanja Ritterbex

Tanja Ritterbex with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, COPYRIGHT ROYALPORTRAITS EUROPE/ BERNARD RUEBSAMEN

Tanja Ritterbex (b. 1985)

Place of birth : Heerlen , The Netherlands

Dealer/website : TANJA RITTERBEX

I am now living in Dusseldorf, Germany, where I study at the Artacademy in the class of the Danish artist TAL R.

Artist’s statement –

In Dutch: Citaat:“als je uiteindelijk begrijpt dat wat je ziet niet is wat je denkt, dan kun je er in zien wat je wilt.” In English: “When you finally understand that what you see is not what you think, you can see whatever you want to see .”

Favourite movies –

Vertigo (1958), a film BY Alfred Hitchcock. I love the way he uses the camera as the actor James Stewart is falling down. But on the other hand the movie: 50 First Dates (Peter Segal, 2004) with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore makes me cry every time. Ow my god! Also, Frida Kahlo (2002) a film by Julie Taymor with Salma Hayek.

Favourite books –

Charlotte Salomon, Leben? oder Theater? Now I’m reading this book: The Road by Cormac Mccarthy as suggested by my professor Tal R.

Favourite cultural centres –

Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf (Germany); Bonnefanten museum, Maastricht (The Netherlands); MoMA, New York (USA); MAMAC, Liege (Belgium); Kunsthal, Rotterdam (the Netherlands)

Your most aesthetically (sensual/ spiritual/ intellectual) inspired experience 

When my boyfriend was naked in the dunes at the Dutch sea! To walk through the underground caves of Maastricht (the Netherlands)

Art (books, movie, exhibition, museum, etc) wish list –

Charlotte Salomon, Leben? oder Theater? 

A movie from the artist Natali Djuberg. ( I saw her work in 2009 at the Biennale Venizie, Italie. And I directly loved it!!!!)

The Exhibition of the artist Bas de Wit at the Bonnefanten museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (Germany) show of Chris Martin.

And, I wish to see the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; the building must be amazing! (That’s on my own wish-to-see-list!!!)

Artist/character (in any field) with whom you identify the most –

Tracy Emin, Frida Kahlo, Niki de saint Phalle, Elke Krystofek and Sylivia Fleury.

Most inspiring city –

I think you can only say that if you really have lived in a city: I have lived in Willemstad (Curaçao, the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean.) I also lived in Salamaca (Spain) where I studied in an art school for 4 months. Maastricht and Bocholtz (in the Netherlands) and Dusseldorf (Germany). So, most beautiful city for me is: Willemstad; and most inspiring city is: Dusseldorf.

Most influential – person, character, artist, filmmaker, writer, etc –

My Danish professor at the Artakademie in Dusseldorf: TAL R.

Most challenging aspect of working in the entertainment/ art world (& its institutions) –

Just do what you want to do. Keep being yourself. To distribute my own time. To work day and night.

Most gratifying aspect of being a part of the entertainment/ art world (& its institutions) –

If a painting is finished, and then to look at it for a long long long time.

Always carry with you … –

A small notebook to draw or write in, make-up, a mirror and chocolate!

What are artists’ responsibilities, if any?

It’s hard to talk about responsibilities. I love to watch films from Lars von Trier: Idioten and Dancer in the Dark are my favorites. I think Lars von Trier gets his inspiration from everyday life, just like I do. Responsibility comes from the people who gives us inspiration. p.s : On my own wish list: really want to see his new film: Melancholia!

What are artists’ responsibilities to their art or(?) to society, if any?

I paint (acrylic on canvas) and make sculptures (installations, ceramics, polyester). They don’t carry any responsibilities. Whether people like my work or not that is their opinion. My work is not political, my work is very close to myself. I paint on a canvas like it’s a diary for me.