“New York”, 95x150cm, acrylic on canvas, 2017
To understand how “New York” came about I will take you on a journey back in time. In September 2016 I participated in Spirit Business Event in Hilversum ( a 2 day event organized by two Dutch business coaches, with special guest, American spiritual leader and life coach, Gabrielle Bernstein). During the event we worked with visualisations, meditations and more. As part of this we needed to focus on a dream or desire. For me that was to exhibit my paintings in New York so I focused on that and let it go.
The following Summer of 2017 we decided to take a big family trip To the U.S., mainly to re-visit our friends and old neighbours in Minnesota where we had lived from 2011-2014. We combined this with a trip to New York state and city. Prior to our visit I had been checking out New York galleries on internet in search of my ideal gallery. Agora Gallery was top of my list which I visited. It was exactly how I had visualised it; the large glass front, the pristine inside, the exquisiteness. I knew right there that this was the one.
It was my first time in New York and my impression was one which was overwhelming for the senses. A cacophony on non-stop sounds. Yet its New York, a city that symbolized hope, new life, new opportunities, for so many emigrants including Irish over the centuries. It was also a city of contrasts. The busyness of downtown with a wave of throdding feet, the most on a mission to get somewhere. And then you had the calm, carefree jungle of Central Park, where time sat still as people relaxed on the grass or benches, in a care-free low tempo mode. And of course we did the usual touristy trips to The Statue of Liberty and surrounding waters, The MOMA, Natural History Museum, Empire State etc. It was a most intriguing experience.
On returning back to the Netherlands, I went to work expressing New York in paint. The only inkling I had was that there sure needed a lot of red in the painting, representing for me both a hardness, a fight for survival mentality, blood and life. It also needed to be bright and light, its sense of hope and dynamism which I think the combination of red/yellow/orange portray. Also the excitement and buzz of the city needed form. You can hear Sinatra singing in the background. Hard and soft, full of life, bold and dynamic. And this is the painting that emerged. Its currently exhibited at The Yellow Door Gallery in Baltimore, Cork, Ireland.
Also on returning home I initially procrastinated in applying to Agora Gallery but once I did, after a skype interview with the head of the gallery, I was offered a one year contract of representation and an exhibition in May 2018 which meant a return trip to New York for the grand opening and the fulfillment of a dream.