Renssen Galery is one of Spectrum Miami’s 2021 Spotlight Artist Recipients. Learn more about Erik Renssen and his gallery below.
Q. Introduce yourself — who you are and what you do?
A. My name is Erik Renssen, I am a Dutch artist (born in 1960) who enjoys painting, sculpting, and making graphic works on paper. For 12 years we have had our own gallery – located in the heart of the Art District of Amsterdam – which is run by my, wife, muse, and manager, Suzka Renssen. She is the one at Spectrum to welcome you to Booth S302.
Q. What is your background?
A. I have been drawing and painting for over 30 years now. However, I worked for 11 years in an architect’s office – painting only in my free time– before I decided to dedicate all my time to the arts. The last 4 years of my architectural career were quite intense, simultaneously studying at the Wackers Art Academy of Amsterdam in the evenings. In my current work, you can see my love for Architecture and Art combined in my cityscapes.
Q. How do you work?
A. Most of my work is done in my studio in our garden, a peaceful place, along the waterside. My paintings are done in oil, my drawings in charcoal, and my sculptures in bronze, white marble, or black granite. I like to work on the tones of Jazz music so the rhythm leads the way. When I start I have an idea of what I want to make but this can change totally in the process. My best pieces come to life on the easel when I get into a nice, creative flow. I love to work in oil as I can apply a layer over layer and mix the most beautiful colors.
Q. What art do you most identify with?
A. My work is much inspired by Picasso, Braque, Matisse, and van Gogh. I just love the old-fashioned Mastership and enjoy the playfulness of their artistic languages. Many of the objects in my work come from my own surroundings. When we have a family of owls in our garden, you will see owls appearing in my work. And when I meet someone with spectacular blue eyes or distinctive features I may use that. My family also resides in my paintings, like my son playing the grand piano. That way I write my own stories in a mix of existing artistic idioms.
Q. What artist(s) inspires you?
A. Any artist that works with passion and conviction. You need to make what you want only and not listen to others too much. Only if you are stubborn you can stay true to yourself and the best way for you to express yourself is only to be decided by you. Of course, your ideas can evolve…
Q. What is the best advice you’ve received?
A. Most people told me to hang on to my safe job and not follow my dreams… I am very happy I did not listen and that my wife Suzka believed in me. Now we are living our dream, inspiring many others on the way. My international collectors from all continents give me the recognition I need to always keep improving my work.
Q. When you are not working, where can we find you?
A. In our garden, listening to the birds. We have a wildflower garden full of busy bees and insects I love to watch. I have a deep-rooted passion for biodiversity in nature and am concerned for our planet.
Q. What does exhibiting at Spectrum Miami 2021 mean to you?
A. I am particularly looking forward to the reactions to my new white marble and black granite sculpture collection. We have been dearly missing US citizens traveling to Europe in the past two years. So we are very happy to be back in Florida where so many of our loyal collectors reside. We also hope to meet many new people enjoying my art.