Atelier Autonoom Academie van Bouwkunst Groningen 1997-1998


JOEP VAN LIESHOUT

INTERVIEWED BY KLAAR VAN DER LIPPE

"So your use of color in space is it governed by chance, association and randomness?"
"
Yes."

"Do you value color? Do you make a distinction between colors that you like and those you don't? It seems as though you find all colors equally beautiful, don't you really have any preference?"
"
No."

"You use a lot of vivid colors in your work. Those of course are the most striking?"
"
Yes."

"To put it another way. It's the primary and secondary colors which are a sort of physical given. But with you they're signals or traffic colours, that's what we most closely associate with yellow, red and blue. Is that what lies behind your choice?"
"
Yes."

"Looking round me here, though, I see completely different colors being brought in. Is that what you're working with at the moment?"
"
Yes."

"What particularly excites my senses is seeing color applied to large surfaces. It's a completely new kind of experience. I feel it has a very stimulating effect on my state of mind. Do you feel that too?"
"
Yes."

"Are there any colors that make you feel gloomy? Stupid question since I know you like all colors. In fact, I suppose it's the absence of color that'd make you gloomy? Am I right there?"
"
Yes."

"What do you think of this color combination, I find it really vibrant? What is it exactly: ochre combined with that pink wood, completely unexpected, but it's actually extraordinarily vivid. Does it give you the same thrill?"
"
Yes."

"Are there people whose choice of color you admire? I see you've got a book of René Daniels here. Do you like his use of color?"
"
Yes."

"And what about Peter Struycken's use of color? Because when I hear you talking about color and the combination of chance, on the one hand, and that intensity on the other, then it's got to be something in which you can almost identify yourself? Would that be right?"
"
Yes."

"But did you really mean it when you said that all the painters you know use color in an ugly way?"
"
Yes."

"What always strikes me is how color changes, particularly taste in color. Purple and orange, for example, are typical colors which reflect trends and particular times. Are you fashion conscious in that respect?"
"No."

"But there are also colors that appeal to you to a greater or lesser degree at different times, you use them and then you drop them again."
"
Yes."

"I don't notice much color in your own interior. Really just the colors of the materials. The only color accents are in the curtains, fairly large, pronounced areas of color, the inside of your sleeping unit and your files. Is that deliberate?"
"
Yes."

"People and color, intense colors, do they appeal to you? For instance, are you attracted to a woman who's dressed in an all-pink suit like me?"
"
Yes."

"Joep, thank you very much, it was a great interview."


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