Micha Patiniott (intro as aside): I had a studio visit with Pim Blokker where he showed me some work and I asked a few questions:
MP: You are back in the studio working, after a two month break. How do you pick up the thread?
Pim Blokker: I start working from zero, a kind of emptiness, and from there it can move in different directions. I make quick intuitive sketches on paper from which ideas can arise. Initially I try to work without thinking too much. It’s like working in a kind of frenzy or haze.
It could develop in two different directions, but hopefully these two things come together in the work.
MP: Which two things do you mean?
PB: Humorous narratives and abstraction. But for me there is actually not much difference between them.
MP: Could you elaborate on that–how there is not much difference between the two?
PB: Well for example this work (below) is seemingly abstract, but there is a clear narrative within it.
MP: Could you tell me the story?
PB: Hahaha. Well, that is actually quite difficult to do. It’s an outline or a structure [of a story]. An interplay of lines. You could say that the black shapes that enter the surface are behind and in front of the blue line. And then relationships start to happen; they form a sort of interplay and thereby a story. I make narrative connections by painting from left to right, top or bottom/below etc. Although this might sound vague, it is simply an abstract story.
Try to make a horse is a painting that refers to the myth of Medusa, where her head is cut off from her body. From her blood springs the flying horse ‘Pegasus’. This is a classic example of a narrative story. I find there is beauty in the metamorphosis from the one thing into the other, and that’s what I would like to paint about. The concept is in the back of my head and I loosely associate with it. I make three or four versions from the same point of reference.
MP: You just brought out your last two works/paintings from before your break… You hadn’t looked at them before, because I heard you say “Oh I haven’t seen that in a while!” Did you deliberately not look at them yet, while you were making new work?
PB: No I actually look at old work a lot, to see new links and contexts and to see what I can use again.
For example, I could use the layering in this painting again (the ‘currently untitled’ one featured second from top). There are actually only three layers; the background, the black planes and blue lines. These elements I could use as a staring point. I re-use and rearrange elements from old paintings until I find a new painting that I’m satisfied with, which reunites all the elements in a new way. This is a way for me to discover new possibilities, to get to something completely new again.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
MICHA PATINIOTT: currently lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He was a resident of the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2006-2007, and was also a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA from 2008-2009.
PIM BLOKKER: was born in 1974 in Woerden, The Netherlands. He lives and works in Amsterdam, and was a resident of the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2009-2010.