Herbert Hermans | Netherlands
Herbert Hermans was born in 1947 in The Netherlands. Since the end of the 80s, Hermans has been a passionate painter and he owns an atelier at the Vest in the historic city centre of Gouda. His work consists mainly of oil paintings, with his major theme being industrial and cultural heritage. Hermans has followed different courses in acrylic, water media and oil painting. Sources of inspiration for his paintings are abandoned and often ruinous buildings. He records these often before demolition by photographs and sketches.
Use of colour and use of light make his paintings special events. Dark disconsolateness is changing into light and warmth. Regularly he adds characters into his paintings who provide another or an extra dimension to the images. The tension in their relation is sometimes nearly tangible.
Besides the oil paint for the top layers he mostly uses acryl paint as ground-colour or priming. In several paintings he has used gold foil, acryl modelling and glazing gel.
Herbert was nominated in 2014, 2016 and 2018 for the Dutch title 'Painting of the year'. He won several art prices and has had exhibitions in eight countries in Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and The Netherlands), in several cities in the USA (Miami, New York, Las Vegas and San Diego) and China (Shanghai). His works have been published in many art books. He received several national and international awards. His artwork has been published and sold worldwide.
Contemporary Art Station: Tell us about how you got started. When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I started during my secondary school. My teacher was a famous Dutch painter and he was very enthousiastic about my work. In first instance I did not want to be an artist because I knew that it was a hard life in The Netherlands. I studied to be a lawyer and teached law at several universities in the Netherlands and got a PhD degree in health law. Besides my work as a lawyer I have made paintings my whole life, but since I have my own studio in Gouda (in 2012) painting is my great passion.
CAS: What is your process like, from initial idea to the creation of the piece? Do you usually develop the idea for a project before you find the "canvas", or vice versa?
The original ideas usually arise through visiting old and often neglected buildings and I make photos and sketches which I use to create a painting in my studio in Gouda. I start with a combination of ideas and sometimes I add characters into my paintings who provide another or an extra dimension to the image.
CAS: What do you love most about your creative process?
What I love most about the creative process is combining architecture with non existing colours in reality and preserving old and often neglected buildings and creating new contexts.
CAS: What role does art and the artist play in the broader social conversation today?
Art and the artist are playing an important role to social conversation by providing new and unexpected perspectives on reality.
CAS: Name a few of your favourite artists and influences.
My favourite artists are Edward Hopper, M.C. Esscher and William Turner. My work is often influenced by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Calatrava, and the existing industrial and cultural heritage in Europe.
CAS: What is the best advice you received as an artist?
The best advice I received as an artist was to create the work I love myself and resist the temptation to create work that is in high demand.
CAS: When did you discover your voice as an artist?
I discovered it when our daughter was born in 1989. I started to make portrets of her and my family and others loved this work. Later I swiched to paint industrial and cultural heritage and I discovered that this was quite unique. 8. What advice would you give to emerging artists trying to find their own? My advice would be: choose topics and a style that suits you. Take time to create your work and make your own colors by mixing the paint and use it unconventionally.