Reflections on art and leadership

I use my art to reflect an artist and a senior manager in the financial services industry. I notice that the deeper I understand myself the more I succeed to impact others; in both art and work.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Frederik Beerbaum > interview for exhibition

Interview I held with my mentor Frederik Beerbaum over a period of 3 years.
Great to be able to learn from such a recognised artist (his works are for example in the colletion of the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum).
Sorry it is in Dutch; still the language that is easiest toexplore such discussions.

We compiled this video as part of his recent exhibition at Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam.
The idea is not to provide snappy quotes and smart one-liners. The idea is to explore the relevant thinking and expression around what art really is, how you become an artist, how images appear and more. Rather a reflective sharing than a tailored audience based movie :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Interview FD - I prefer Picasso

‘Bij het AMC is voor iedereen duidelijk wat je doet’

De gloednieuwe hyperthermiemachine begint zachtjes te zoemen zodra een hulpvaardige technicus hem aanzet. Laserlicht tekent rode strepen op de muur. Meteen is Maurice van Tilburg met ....

‘Ik hou meer van Picasso, die steeds verder ging, dan van Warhol’

Veolledige artikel: Interview Lieu de Memoire - Financieel Dagblad

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Invitation Opening 15 Oct 2015 > Agora Gallery, Chelsea NYC

For those interested it might be nice to join the opening; see invitation below.
Would be great to have you there


Divergent Realities
Agora Gallery
New York,NY
van Tilburg
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Divergent Realities
October 9 - October 29, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 15, 2015, 6-8 pm

Road to Relativity   Oil on Canvas   39.5" x 31.5"
About the Artist
Maurice van Tilburg’s paintings represent the journey towards deeper expression by combining the concepts of beauty and pity. Van Tilburg’s canvases brim with an alternating sense of hope and loss, with the contrast between them illustrated through a bright palette contoured by a dark textural movement. In that borderland between beauty and pity, the viewer glimpses the artist as an intense creator/achiever and also as a reflective man, and the struggles they both face in order to take what van Tilburg calls “full ownership of life.”

Van Tilburg’s discovery of deeper beauty through awareness of its fragility is portrayed by the radiant layers of oil paint and the omnipresent drip-like lines that both compose and obscure the art around them. The Gothic sensibility and impressionist references reinforce the overall sense of dislocation, expectant anxiety and alluring intimacy. In this regard, van Tilburg both holds the viewer at a distance and beckons them as close as they’re willing to come.

Maurice van Tilburg Up-close
View Divergent Realities

530 West 25th Street, New York, NY         212.226.4151 Agora Gallery

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Making pictures of a portrait

 In the series of Beauty and Pity I had finally the guts to make a portrait of my Charlotte. She was away for some time and I started the layers of oil step by step.

1. Why a portrait is more difficult
Beauty and pity is about art being more than design, more than pure aesthetics. Aesthetics distract you from making truly meaningful art works. A few examples:
a) when you made some beautiful first setups your aesthetic feeling creates a fear of ruining the beauty that you have created. Fear makes you afraid to touch the 'nice' part of the painting, and from then on you just work around it, keeping you away from what your feeling tells you needs to be done.
b) when other people tell you what they like in your paintings, they often talk about simple aesthetics they can grasp. When you like these people you get - even at a subconscious level - incentivized to do more of what people like. Taking you away from exploring new things and following your own meaningful path.
The reverse is also true; which is the case with portraits.
Everyone has an opinion about portraits, and mainly around "does it look like the original". Sure, this is a relevant question for a viewer, but less so from the perspective of a painter.
The painter wants to paint how he sees the person, actually more how he feels the person.

For an artist therefore it is pretty frustrating to have other people say "something wrong with the nose" or "this doesn't really look like her".
In the way like kids need to learn their being does not depend on whether they are liked by all, the artist needs to learn that the success of the painting does not depend on the view of others.

Of course it is nice if the artist reaches a portrait that is truly represents his own feeling, and where others 'feel' it is actually a good 'capture of that person'.

Another effect is that the artist has to fight the idea of others not seeing the resemblance, needs to resist but is often still aware. This makes that - lets speak for myself - making a portrait takes more energy than an abstract painting.
Basically, for an abstract work you accept that 95% of people doesn't appreciate it ;-).

2. How about this painting - is it successful?
Well, it does represent of how I feel Charlotte, and how I see her presence.
Does it look like her? Yes, I am convinced.
Do others agree? Hmmm, not sure...guess we'll see once I publish this post.
It is less relevant though. I would like this painting in my house as it truly enchants me, and represents her more complex presence, more than being beautiful she has a depth, darkness, intriguing roughness, color without color.
Next to that the background adds dimensions of idyll, painful red glow and black tears.
I am also sure my mentor Frederik Beerbaum has more to read into it. And he might even wonder if I haven't stayed too much on the safe aesthetic side...

3. Making the portrait; steps
(i). It starts with making one color background; this ensure that all nuances in the painting in the final stage appear as a whole, despite layers of different colors that are being added. Especially in oil colors the colors all shine through the layers.
(ii). Adding shades of the shape and face
Using a dark color to set up the full shape, key parts of the body and create a framework for the face.
(iii). add lighter colored layers to bring light and nuance into the painting
The different colors add depth and allow to put more feeling into the expression.
(iv). Add black contours to make it stand out
Like the dress it is nice to add the texture of the black paint, as it gives more feeling to the dress.
And as last step add the black tears that are part of the Beauty and Pity theme.
You can hardly see them on these pictures, only if you look at the enlarged versions.

I also used medium to make the oil paint thinner, especially for the skin where it is nice to see through layers and create depth in the skin.

4. Capturing a painting in a picture
Then the delicate task to capture a painting in a picture. Several elements are relevant:
a) making a good basis picture
b) tweaking the colors and contrast
All the pictures have gone through different rework stages.
Which one do you like most?
And which one would best represent the original?
Guess you will only know when you see the original :-)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

15 October 2015 - My Exhibition Opening at Agora Gallery

I am currently preparing my new New York exhibition with Agora Gallery.
Or I should say...I am trying to make time to prepare.

So I uploaded my new art works created this year onto their website (13 in total).
Today took time to:
- sign form and sent mail they require to confirm dates, attendance, images
- raise some questions:
     The ArtMine currently still shows older art works, not the new ones
     The invitation for my exhibition on their website does not show new images yet

Still, good to block in your agenda:

Agora Gallery
Thursday15 October, 6-8 PM
530 West 25TH Street, New York

This group exhibition runs from Friday, October 9, 2015 – Thursday, October 29, 2015

The digital magazine version you find here: ArtIsSpectrum magazine article

Text from the article

In Maurice van Tilburg's paintings, a powerful yet fluid sense of line is coupled with a color palette that plays effectively off of the contrasts between deep, rich blacks and a range of  colors running from pastels to neon hues. That sense of opposites uniting to set off sparks gives the work a distinctive mood, one that mixes dreamlike contemplation with a dynamic sense of movement and rhythm.

"Drawing has always been my passion, addiction, and a way to create my own world," the artist says, and the importance that he places on drawing can be seen easily in his images. Mixing sharply drawn figures and patterns with soft, liquid areas of color, he lets his clearly delineated subjects anchor his pictures, contributing to a strong physical presence that makes their soft-focus, abstract backgrounds all the more powerful.

Working in acrylics, oil and ink, among other media, van Tilburg also gives his works a strong textual variety, reflecting their multi-leveled nature. But as in all aspects of his paintings, those textures are contained in settings that harness their varied elements to a balanced, elegant sense of composition. While the artist calls his style "very intuitive," that intuition has a strong ability to communicate clearly and directly with the viewer.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

New paintings - preparing for my exhibition in NYC

Establish His Innocence
80cm x 100 cm
In the series of Beauty and Pity I have been able to make some new art works.
Using characteristics of the oil paint, medium and water I am trying to further explore the deepening of emotions by diving into layers and dripping patterns.
I feel it more and more helps me to get close to what I feel like expressing.

If you wonder why the painting "Establish His Innocence" looks like it's upside-down... it is because I made it that way :-)

In the end more and more I trust my feeling on these sort of decisions... and it is good to realise that in the end - I am still painting just for me.

Now need to focus on getting the paintings uploaded to the Agora gallery site as part of the exhibition preparation for October in Chelsea. Some parts of art still look like 'work' :-)
80cm x 100 cm

Union of the Two
40cm x 40 cm
Road to Relativity
80cm x 100 cm

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Which art works for charity auction

Organic -
From the De-Struct series
incl frame ca. 80 cm high, 130 cm wide
We are currently selecting art works for a charity auction.
Not the first time; 2 years ago I selected 8 for a charity auction in New York on 11 Wall Street. Then the success was great, and it allowed for good financial result.
Now 2 is a nice number, also as these art works are all pretty large.

Being artistic is a gift - that gift should be shared

Systemic -
From the De-Struct series
incl frame ca. 80 cm high, 130 cm wide

For details of the concepts/series:

For the Subconscious Power the art works are also displayed for sale on the commercial site of my gallery: Agora Gallery in Chelsea NYC:

Pour la grande cause -
From the Subconsious power series
incl frame ca 120 cm high, 90 cm wide
The Giant That has been overpowered -
From the Subconscious Power series
incl frame ca. 80 cm high, 60 cm wide
Vous ne daignez pas descendre-
From the Subconscious Power series
incl frame ca 120 cm high, 90 cm wide
No title -
Subconscious Power
incl frame ca 90 cm high, 120 cm wide

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Beauty and Pity (4)

I'm not color blind

Beauty an Pity (3)

Naked into the sea
Inspired by the trees along the Amstel river.
the thick white sky sculpts the trees
The trees shape a mosaic as an aura for the holy river
From shadow light escapes in brightness
All rivers eventually flow into the sea

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Beauty and Pity (2)

A distant garden died above us
As an artist I look each year or so for a new concept. Before finding a new concept it takes a few tries. I start with new paintings, new materials and new themes. It is difficult to explain, but many times it doesn't feel feels to far-fetched, or to superficial, or the expression does not get through.

So I end up making 1 or 2 in a new style and then abandoning.

A good new concept and style:
- are clearly linked and fit together
- allows deepening the subject
- is suited for different moods and expressions
- even stays interesting after having made 5 in the series

Happy now that the Beauty and Pity for me fits all these criteria. In addition it helps further build different techniques with oil paint, like dripping, layers, etc.

Still inspired!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beauty and pity

Feel the fish
Last year was a year of experiments and searching for a new concept.
I worked on exploring parchment as a material for art, actually creating a few nice and very personal art works.
But although the art works were nice a series would not really take off.
End of 2014 brought some new reflections:
- I should seek the next art series close to who I am; close to my strongest way to express. In my case this means working sketchy and very quick, without thinking
- Use the experience of the hundreds of small drawings I have made during the years. They have brought me a more direct way of expressing without a fear of ruining the art work.
- Find a way to combine beauty and pity.
I like the way Nabokov used beauty and pity to describe art.
Pure beauty will just lead to design. Something that will please and sell.
Pity connects it to reality, to my core and to my feeling.

So I started a series of paintings and tried to find the ultimate combination, creating an approach combining:
- using nice oil colours to obtain the beautiful sketched image and add layers of depth
- using black (shades and drippings) to express the feeling that come to me through the painting.
It took some time to refine the technique with oil, but getting more and more happy with the results.
Here you find the two first paintings, but more are to follow.

I like the concept of beauty and pity as it also represents an approach to personal life, and even work if you like.
Our primary focus is often on direct  results, ethics, rewards. when striving for those elements we risk losing our authentic self, our connection with our natural role; short term benefits overrule subconsciously our true values.

More to come