I create contemporary and minimalist sculptures with which I create peace, strength and joy. Balance for the world and for myself. Apparent simplicity, which does not lose its magic.
I look for shapes that feel right. Shapes that are just as earthly as elevated.
I name my sculptures, a title is restrictive for me. A name comes from your subconscious mind and is almost always appropriate. You feel it, but you cannot dissect it clinically. With everything in my life I notice that my subconscious mind and the symbolism associated with it plays a major role.
Another thing that often appears in my designs is a masculine energy that wants to manifest. An energy that stands for doing my own thing, being able to focus, putting something in the world and having a healthy self-esteem without having to be perfect… This is very liberating for me and gives me a lot of pleasure. By making sculptures my masculine and feminine sides are in balance. That makes me a complete person.
Because I am 'different', or difficult to frame, -I have a character full of contradictions in all areas-, I know what it is like not to fit in and also how valuable it is to to feel the freedom that is necessary to take that freedom at a certain point in your life, to dare to be yourself. To feel equal, without having to be similar. Suppression of race, gender, religion, sexuality, emotions… as a person and society you get a disproportionate amount of problems in return. So if there's one thing I want to plea for, except for balance, it’s for freedom and equality.
The Cock Collection
• My masculine side
With my Cock Collection, I want to celebrate my masculine side that is fully developed and expressed along with my art.
As my entire personality is made up of dualities, I feel very feminine and very masculine at the same time.
When my kids were little, especially my feminine side was in the foreground. That gave enormous fulfilment, depth and warmth. Having the dynamism of a family and helping your kids develop is a blissful challenge. It was a dream that I could put a
lot into as a woman, but it also consumed my own space. Now my kids are flying out and so do I.
Doing my own thing, being able to focus, putting something into the world and having a healthy self-esteem without having to be perfect ... This is a more masculine energy that is very liberating for me and gives me a lot of pleasure. Funny that afterwards I keep discovering that I also accidentally incorporated a feminine aspect info every creation, which confirms to me that you can never separate the truth from its specific context. My male and female side are in balance with this. That makes me a complete person.
• Plea for freedom
In addition to this important aspect, another subject fills me with passion: freedom. The freedom to be who you are. To be equivalent, without having to be similar. I love diversity.
I am very grateful for the climate in the country where I live, in which we have a lot of freedom. The space to discover your true self and thus find your optimal level of happiness and functioning. Repression of race, gender, faith, sexuality, emotions and diversity ... that's not smart. As a person and as a society, you get a disproportionate amount of problems in return. The resulting misery is extremely painful and unjust. Yes, if I want to stand up for anything, it is for freedom.
So, I take great pleasure in creating a Cock Collection when it serves me, and I am grateful to be able to do so and share it freely. I wish that to everyone.
5 questions to Maartje:
1. What made you decide to start as an artist?
* After I had done everything in my life to live a life according to the norm, and continued to fail miserably, my second husband and first true love passed away. After that I decided: fuck myself and the world, I'm going to rebuild myself from scratch and only do what makes me happy. Very liberating.
2 Name a piece of art you own, that have a special place in your heart and why?
* On my toilet hangs an unnamed wood carving among all kinds of other works, including those of my children. I found it at the thrift shop. It depicts a fat little man wearing a fez (hat) in Cobra-style. An art movement that I really love! I tattooed it on my arm.
3. Explain in short what creating art does for you?
* Making art balances me, makes me healthy and happy. I need challenge and peace in my life and art contains both.
4. When you are together with friends, what do you do?
* I don’t have friends but I have a big, crazy, loving family, my dear children and I found a true love again, which is everything to me. With them I share music, I watch art, theatre, art house films and documentaries, take walks, enjoy good food and drinks, I dance, I go to the sauna, I sup a round through the canal, I visit cities, etc.
5. Where do you live and with whom?
* I live in the city of Alkmaar, 50 km north of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I live with my husband, part-time with my eldest daughter (22) and her boyfriend, one weekend every two weeks with my stepson (12), our two fat red cats (with whom I have a dubious relationship), and my son (20), lives nearby with his father. We have a nice little house with studio and garden.
Group exhibition - 75th anniversary exhibition KCB - September / October - (Artist Center Bergen), Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen Noord-Holland Group exhibition - Grenzeloos (Without boundaries) 5 juni / 24 juli - KCB (Artist Center Bergen), Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen Noord-Holland. Trio exhibition - Lines - April 14 / May 15 - together with Studio Vulkers and Muriël Leusink, Spaklers Urban Art Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Group exhibition - Salon of the new members - January 9 to April 3 - KCB (Artist Center Bergen), Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen Noord-Holland.
Duo exhibition - The prospect of balance - October 23 to November 20 - Artichoque Art, Maastricht. Group exhibition - August 4 to October 3 - Marspoort gallery, Zutphen.
Membership of the KCB; the Artist Center Bergen. October 2020 to date - The KCB, founded by the prominent COBRA member Constant Nieuwenhuys, Charley Toorop and Adriaan Roland Holst, is affiliated with the fantastic contemporary art Museum Kranenburgh with its beautiful sculpture garden. Constantly changing expositions of the members can be seen on the first floor.