Frank van der Meijden

Born June 21, 1946, in Rotterdam. Lives in Gorinchem. Works in Vlissingen. Graduated from Teachers College in Rotterdam, then taught there for two years. [1969–1972] Co-founder & programmer of the famous rock club Eksit in Rotterdam. [1970–1980] Organized hundreds of tours for English and American bands. [1971–1978] Manager of Dutch bands such as CCC Inc., Slumberland Band, Finch, etc. [1979–1984] Manager of Doe Maar (the most famous band in Holland in the 1980s). [1984–1997] Manager of major Dutch bands such as De Dijk, Het Goede Doel, Flairck. [1998–2008] Manager of Bløf. [2006] Became first Dutch manager to receive a lifetime award. [2011] Made Officer of Royal Order Oranje Nassau. [2009–present] Artist in Vlissingen.

After working for some forty years in the Dutch rock business, I decided to do something totally different. I could no longer personally identify with the changes in style and skill in the music scene. I wanted to tell stories about life, about the human struggle to survive, injustice in politics, religion... about the things behind what we see. Or at least, how I see things. But I do this most of the time with some humor and surrealism, because I don’t want to be all doom and gloom about life.

Halfway through 2009, I started making presentations of my ideas in wine boxes. I used all kind of materials, which I collected from second-hand shops and flea markets like The Waterlooplein in Amsterdam. It was a personal journey to make compositions in which I could tell stories or translate my thoughts. Initially, I intended to just make them just for myself and sometimes for my good friends. But things turned out differently.

Just over a year after I started this experiment, one of my best friends saw what I had created. He was so surprised. He found my work very divergent and he liked it so much that he invited me to exhibit my works, just for one day, at his place in Middelburg during an event called "The Art Route." It took a lot of convincing, but he eventually managed to persuade me to do so.

So on the fourth of July 2010, not even a year after I embarked on "my new way of life," my very first exhibition took place in Middelburg. And to my surprise, I received some rather positive reactions. Then, shortly afterwards I was invited to exhibit my work at Galerie T, also in Middelburg. The interest from others made me rethink. From that moment onwards, I took my work more seriously and I started to focus more on what I really wanted to do: to create certain kinds of stories, presentations, or maybe cartoons, by using objects that are usually used in other ways. Barbies and statues of saints; action men and porcelain figurines; artificial flowers and jewelry...and so on. All of these elements are reworked and combined with paint, glue, fabrics, pieces of plants, rope, and all sorts of things that I come across. In many cases, I mix an array of different elements into one single presentation.

Sometimes I make these objects just for the sheer fun of making them. But sometimes I have something to say, some criticism of our society to blurt out. Many of my presentations have an intended meaning, but quite often you will need to find these symbols for yourself. You may also detect some humor and self-mockery in my works.

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