Let Me Comfort You
I derive pleasure from knitting everything together, so to speak—from being close to the paper while I’m drawing. Actually, all I do is comb hair and string beads. It’s a meditative way of working. I’m also always looking for an excuse to draw things I can’t seem to leave alone, like little balls. They represent things I’m attracted to: jewelry, beads and berries. I have a kind of primeval instinct to physically unite with things as I’m gathering them. It’s a form of clinging to things and drawing them towards me, a kind of eroticism and fertility…That’s why the rubbing and polishing of circles and spheres is important to me: I can almost feel the visual smoothness tingling in my fingertips…People often talk about the importance of climbing up the social ladder...No one talks about what it’s like to go the other way…This thought inspired me to create cavities, in which you can live and hide. Above the cavities, I draw apartment buildings. To me, the apartments represent urbanity, responsibility, the head, the untouchable, the hi-tech, the hygienic. The cavities represent the erotic, the invisible underworld, the low, the bowels and the unhygienic. I want to visualize the conflict between the career and the nest…When drawing, I feel a visual hunger inside me to concentrate precisely on the inconspicuous, which occupies such a large place in my life. The cavities have to do with relaxation, with intimacy, with being subsumed by the whole, and with my living environment. During a pregnancy, a child lives in his or her mother. I live in my body…Domesticity is very important to me…My greatest wish was to one day have a low, sunken sitting area, or a couch made of the same material as the wallpaper. My eyes long to see something that fades into something else…The arbiters of good taste shun decorated edges, because that suggests obedience. Decoration uses the shape that is already there and adds to it…I am naturally attracted to seeing possibilities in the impossible. As a result, I often get mixed up in thoughts about pain and all those things so many people find embarrassing. That automatically leads to feminine subjects. I once heard that gynecologists are scared that their profession will lose status if there are too many female practitioners. I found this immensely intriguing…Around 1995, I drew brightly colored rays and auras around people, animals, orifices and windows. Painting auras felt just like performing magic: the object around which I was going to paint an aura became instantly significant. An aura is always used to draw attention to something invisible…So actually I fill the holes. In fact, my work is about completing: I want to make things whole again. I can therefore imagine that a great deal of art springing from contrariness is actually healing…Feminism sounds like mutiny to me, because it’s such a charged subject…Sometimes this contrariness can provide support, but it can just as easily be oppressive. It’s a pleasant way of giving you the creeps. Caring and intimacy can become constricting in a similar way and turn into oppressiveness. I want to face up to that through my drawing. Whenever I draw something, I always develop a love for it…Nothing is invisible if you look carefully enough. I like to focus my attention on things that you don’t see…I find it incredibly satisfying to draw curves and arcs. I’m attached to the idea that one thing fades into the other without interruption. In my experience, a straight line also involves making an incision. In the symbolism of the Tarot, the sharpness of the sword is capable of separating good from evil. In discussions, people are always going on about being sharp, which essentially means clarity in separating matters of primary and secondary importance. This is something that can be very pleasant, and which can be restful to me. But if you strive for harmony, which I like to do, minor issues are also extremely important, in order to bring different points of view together and connect them. I keep winding them around and around until, as if from their own volition, new images and insights emerge. Perhaps that’s why my eyes are so often drawn to the ‘completed’ whole. All I do in my work is look for extremes and nestle myself in between them. Connect everything to everything else—it’s like the ‘cuddle hormone’! …I sometimes compare my way of working to water. Water has no form in itself but adapts itself to any other form. It always runs to the lowest point, fills even the smallest hole without missing a single one. So from that perspective, my drawing behavior is a perfect form of adaptation, because there’s nothing I like better than filling up the space in between things. This enables me to touch everything, and it gives me the feeling of being in contact. It also evokes something electrifying and lustful as soon as everything is touching everything else.