By Jelica Tapuskovic
Belgrade, Aug. 9 2009 (Serbia Today) - During last weekend, the Holland artist who lives in Belgrade Machiel Van Soest organized a solo exhibition in Soba, Belgrade. Artist known by his exhibitions on unusual places, like offices, churches, bathrooms, private apartments, this time surprised public here with his work. Besides characteristic paintings – skins, visitors had a chance to see newest paintings inspired by his life in Belgrade, like photos and installations – bottles filled with different materials like bones, butter, honey and milk .
Van Soest came to Serbia for the first time in 2005, and in 2006 he came back to take part in artistic project Redakcija, organized in Bigz building in Belgrade. This project lasted for two months, and during that time Van Soest had a chance to meet with the Art scene of Belgrade. He fell in love in Belgrade, so he decided to stay and work here on more regular basis.
Van Soest studied in Holland, where he finished his postgraduate studies, and after that he studied in England.
In his work, when he paints and makes installations, he likes to conduct experiments with different materials and techniques.
„I like the flow of being busy with a work, I want to stay in that moment, it is visual thinking about humanity, religion, ideology and the world as it appears to us and I react to that via my work. In the same time I am aware of other artists doing the same, I am part of a tradition. In that way I feel related to other artists and sometimes I feel like I work for them. That can explain the difference in my work at the first sight. I don’t believe in inspiration, I just work“, said Van Soest for Serbia Today.
However, he is well known in Holland and in Western Europe by his skin paintings and conceptual works.
„I started as a painter, I wanted to paint the ideal painting and that idea resulted in monochrome human skin paintings. Skin color contains all colors, it reflects the world. It is a border. It is the ultimate image, most close to human flesh. Close to our selves, safe as mother’s breast, sexual as a skin of your lover but also violent because it can be stretched the way I show it, like the lamps made of human skin in WO2“, underlined Van Soest.
For his work, he won the Royal Subsidy for Painting in Holland, handed out by Queen Beatrix. Also, he is teaching as a guest-teacher on art academies in Holland and promoting the idea of showing art out of galleries, because he thinks that art should be seen everywhere , with fully functioning and being part of daily life. He had that reputation in Holland, and he does it here, too. For the last 2 years, he had about 28 solo exhibitions in Holland and in Serbia.
After this solo exhibition, he is thinking about making a show in one empty, abandoned six level garage on New Belgrade, but he still didn’t ’t find a way to convince the owners to borrow him the space for a month or longer.