Sunday, 4 February 2018

Tom Claassen / Fortuyn-O'Brien

The twenty-four men in white
detail (4 parts)
Kröller Müller Museum, Otterlo NL

For one year Robert O'Brien was my teacher at St Joost Academy in Breda. That was impressive.
He and his wife, collegue, partner Irene Fortuyn, who was of the same age as my eldest sister Anja, which has intrigued me ever after, were quite good according to some (Walter, Hans, Pascal and Jos, and the girls Marieke, Conny etc, all of them senior year ones) of my fellow students who were clearly more into it. Jos was making a Real Dog without a head! And Hans and Pascal were cutting crazy polystyrene chandelier kinda shapes. Marieke made a tomb vessel POD-coffin in wood.

Amsterdam, exhibiting in galleries, dandies, not getting dirty from work and doing so with the help of an overall. He put one over his reddish brown chequered suit which also included a gillette and a white blouse. I was told. Most likely he wore brown shoes.
We were invited to help them out for 4 guilders an hour, and there were lots of hours to spend grinding those window panels with their green one-hand Makita grinding machine (they also had an italian one, later on I could get a grip on a similar one, which I thought would send me grinding into a eternal sculpting heaven) and making a maquette for some project they were dealing with in France. Pretty much real artlife on the whole. My best pal Bas was even invited to do some plumbing on their bathroom in their super nice atelierhouse in the Amsterdam Jordaan center area, which he did and for what we envied him (he also made it to a mint green deuxchevaux car with the help of which we went on a holiday in Toscany where we had a lot of fun, apart from the insects).
Midst in the whole of it I was wearing my Batman t-shirt, first series Batman logo printed on it I had found on the Waterloo Market! Amsterdam was pretty moist and messy.

But what impressed me most, apart from his lenght (he might have been the same size as myself), was his statement that ART isn't strange, nor should it be incomprehensable to anybody! It was such a relief to hear that. And there was also something about a book he wrote about a white elephant, which I am still looking for.

Tom Claassen, 2017

Tom Claassen (NL)
Hangende Mannen
installation Landgoed Anningahof, Zwolle NL
photo Steven van Welie

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