From the first week of June 2015 onwards Zartist Narouz Moltzer is artist in residence at the Van Gogh House in Zundert where he will work on a series of portraits of Vincent van Gogh. Zundert is the birth place of Vincent van Gogh – there he spent the first years of his life. Moltzer is best known as a painter and for his abstract portraits. By way of experiment, he painted a few portraits of Vincent van Gogh and got selected for the Artist in Residency project. 1+1=2, You see.
125 Portraits of Vincent van Gogh
During his stay on holy ground, Moltzer will try to finish a series of 125 portraits of Van Gogh during his four week-residency. At least that is the plan. Spokesman of the Van Gogh House, Ron Dirven, says he selected Moltzer for the following reason: “Narouz had been working on a few portraits of Vincent van Gogh already. The Van Gogh House wanted to give him the opportunity to expand on his works and make a series”. Zart thinks that is lovely.
In the spirit of Van Gogh
Narouz will be staying in the atelier with accommodation on the top floor. The restored verger’s house from Van Gogh’s period is just a stone’s throw from the Vincent van Gogh House. A gallery has been established in this annexe. Next to this is a new guest studio housing a Van Gogh ‘Artist in Residence’. Artists from home and abroad are invited to work here for a period of time in Van Gogh’s genre. “The goal of the artist in residency programme is to inspire contemporary artists who come to stay to make something in the spirit of Van Gogh. The purpose is to motivate the to artist in residence to create something different than they do at home”, Dirven says informing us on the project.
It’s not easy to be an ‘Artist in Resident’
What does it feel like to work on the very grounds where the great master Vincent van Gogh was born? Zart briefly spoke with Narouz to hear how he’s doing in Zundert. Moltzer says he has done a lot of work, the people are super friendly but he starts to miss home. He has done 50 to 55 works now, thats seems to be on schedule with two weeks left. In contrast to what you would expect, it does not feel like being on holy ground to Moltzer. This partly has to do with the modernisations of the guest house and partly with the new experience of being Artist in Residence.
Home is where the heart is
When asked whether he rather works as an artist in residence or at home Moltzer frankly answers: “ Home!!! Unless I could be alone all of the time. And if I knew it was like this, i would have organised things better at home so I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. I would have brought more stuff for example. Now I had to travel up and down a few times. It’s the first time I experience an Artist in Residency like this”, Moltzer continues.
Mixed feelings but very special
Moltzer was greatly honoured to be invited for the project the last time Zart saw him. Is it what he expected? “ It is a bit different than I thought”, he says. “It is a wonderful experience though. I have been looking forward to it. When I wake up and open my window, I look out over the yard that harbors the grave of Vincent’s’ brother, who died in childhood. And I live next to church where his dad used to preach. That makes it all very special to be here.” Moltzer is not sure (yet) how this Artist in Residency project has influenced him. He is only halfway after all.“ I don’t think I changed the way I work”, he tells us. “On the other hand, probably because the atelier is so light and the beautiful surroundings, I have refreshed my colours”.
What the H*** is this?
The Artist in Residency and the Van Gogh House itself draw many visitors. Moltzer indicates that is the most difficult part for him. It is great to have an exhibition but less great to BE the exhibition, so he experienced. “All day long there are these groups of people passing by”, Moltzer tells.“Behind those glass windows, I feel like a fish in a bowl. I am there right in front of their camera’s. I wonder all time : “what the H** is this? Can you imagine? That is a thing I can’t get over somehow”.
Future exhibition and symposium
As all of you, Zart can’t wait to see the results of this project. The Van Gogh House plans a symposium and an exhibition of all works made during the cycle of Artist in residency projects. The dates are not fixed yet but you can follow news about events on their website: http://www.vangoghhuis.com