"In the eighties of the past century I painted the virtually collapsed villas on the island. In the monuments of Curaçao, I recognized the former wealth of the families that owned them. But the sun, the nitrates, the wind and the rain slowly destroyed these monuments. That process – human pride expressed through architecture which in turn is assaulted by the forces of nature – is clearly visible on the island. For somebody who takes note of transiency and is aware of it, this is a pleasure."

Oil painting
"Oil-painting challenges and heals. The scent of the oil and the paint thinner, an empty canvas, the preparations. It took a long time before I could let this happen, let the painting create itself, creating either tension or harmony by combining colors and shapes, while I have no idea about the painting that will emerge. Inspired by the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington D.C. in 2001, I painted Ground Zero. It depicts the collapsed Twin Tower structures, resembling the Roman Colosseum. In between the two structures an ancient lion-hunter on a horse, modeled after the work of Rubens, charges forward. After completing Ground Zero, I was astonished to find out that in Arabic, lion means Osama. I wasn't aware of the connection while painting. The painting passed through me, as an artistic and cosmic expression of  the horror which hit the US and the rest of the world on the day of the attacks. Oil painting teaches me, talks through me by using colors and texture, and creates a 'tableau vivant' which expresses my savage, insecure, chaotic, afraid and happy sides."
Art Prize 2012 - El Indjan - Herman van Bergen
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