The roof. The dome.
I was deeply saddened this week to hear that Arie de Groot had passed away. Arie, whom I regard as my art mentor, died in 2016. It was by way of an invitation to his upcoming exhibition Van vervreemding na verwondering that I came to know of his death. His opening will be on the 27th May 2018. I will certainly be there in spirit.
Arie was my holding-space. He allowed me to explore through the medium of drawing. Many an evening at Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam - where he was a lecturer between 1988-1998 - I could be found drawing on the floor. I would use my hands, my hair, my feet to engage with my drawings that were purely exploratory. The process of discovery was at the centre of drawing itself. There were no rules. Arie taught me what the essence of art -making was about.
In his own work he explored the different layers of life. Particularly, it was the idea of 'roof' or dome that he was able to use as analogy for this process. In the preface to his book Beschouwing over de Koepel Arie writes:
'Voor mij is het dak de overgang van de aarde, van het vaste, naar de ruimte, de hemel. Met het dak maken we het gebouw compleet en respecteren en vieren we de ruimte: het niet-weten.'
Looking at his work again, I realize that Arie had an incredible impact on me as an artist and how important niet weten (not knowing) is.
From Arie de Groot I learned Authenticity.