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There is a well-known picture by Amsterdam artist Koen Vermeule entitled “Out and about.” In an interview, he said that this would be “a good title for the whole of my work”: he constantly travels all over the world. His pictures begin in the street; he elevates the street and begins to give it a new shape and to create stories. This gives his art a resemblance to Street Art and to comic art—which, in fact, is where it began. The artistic language he uses to depict the people he encounters all over the world—from the “Tokyo Dreamer” to the coloured shoe cleaner in “The Call”—is also as large as life. There are two constants in Vermeule’s work: people and landscape. The wide skies of his seascapes, the dunes and beaches are very much in the tradition of Dutch landscape painting. However, he brings them into the present day. With their stark contrasts and clear construction, his landscapes often appear overexposed. They are rather like film stills—a fact which, in turn, connects them with his “street pictures.” In these pictures, also, Koen Vermeule’s ideosyncratic artistic handwriting is unmistakeable.
With contribution by Eckhard Hollmann, Christoph Tannert und Heike Endter.
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