What is the best thing that I love about my work? I love how the experience of looking at the painting and the action of painting elavates me to a state of detachment. How the squashy paint slowly freezes over time. How the colors vibrate and keep on living their life long after I looked at them.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Painting on a hot summer day, listening to the birds and being engulfed by the experience and the strong smells of my medium.
What is my greatest fear? To loose my eyesight.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I do have the tendency to work on too many paintings at a time and to push myself well beyond a reasonable working pattern.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? One of the best painters working in silence today in Berlin is my good friend Lucas Reiner. Prof. Dr. Robert C. Morgan from NYC is a great inspiration as a writer and an artist.
What is my greatest extravagance? I like to buy books, lots of them even if I can’t afford to. The same goes for expensive shoes and 4-5* hotels.
On what occasion would I lie? If I do not want to sell a work, I will say it is no longer available though I’m looking right at it!
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? There is no such thing!
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? There have been many moments of great happiness. I loved studying in Barcelona and working in my studio, my space at the academy (UB Facultat de Bellas Artes St. Jordi). I also loved my big studio at the School of Art in Utrecht, where I could look at the sky whilst working or relaxing (looking at the painting and contemplating it’s course/so still working actually) and see big seagulls soar in to the sky.
If I could, what would I change about myself? My habit to spend the money I should live off for a year in say two weeks.
What is my greatest achievement in work? There’s a huge painting at the studio measuring 250×190 cms, a variation on the theme of Icarus, which means a lot to me. I do feel that my ekphrasis project: “Painted Poetry and Painterly Poetics;an ekphrastic notion” is a real accomplishment especially as it brings so many voices together. Raluca Albu wrote about it at Columbia Journal online.
What do the words ‘The Financial Freedom to Create’ mean to me? A big, big struggle.
Where would I most like to live? I really look forward to relocate to the South of France.
What is my most treasured possession? My Library: My grandfather left his Collection of Poetry books to me with books from the 19th century by Shelley and Longfellow amongst others. Also several editions of the collected writings of Edgar Allen Poe and books about my favourite artists, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso and Fra Angelico. This Collection includes a rare edition by John Rewald etc.
What is my most marked characteristic? I’m very passionate about painting and can come accross rather aggressive if I’m defending an idea I hold dear.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The two big museums of which The Catharijne Convent holds a Rembrandt and many old paintings from the Middle Ages, the Centraal Museum Utrecht contains original early paintings by Van Gogh and shows very interesting pieces by De Stijl artists.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I love to be just anywhere in the old centre of town near the Dom tower and have a cup of tea.
What books influenced my life and how? The writings by Gaston Bachelard and Alain Badiou have opened my heart to a nearly divine understanding of the poetic and its power to reveal an unparalleled sense of the multiplicity of cognitive dimensions and associations.
Who are my favorite writers? I often re-read Tsjechov and Dostoyevsky, I’d like to think of them as my favourites, but I love reading and couldn’t do without Proust and many, many others.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I would spend my day with Chopin and Beethoven, especially their nocturnes.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? My hero of all time is the somewhat grotesque character of Poirot, brought into being by Agatha Christie. I love the idea of him as compassionate but most strict and a-sexual as well as full of love for the opposite sex.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My wife’s care for and devotion to our children is without precedent or equal, the thing I validate most. The same could be said of my parents and some of my close relatives buying paintings in times of need.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The Leopard by Visconti is a great treat!
What role plays art in my life and work? Art is the air I breathe, it is the foundation of my existence.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? First of all my family, my mother in particular following in close proximity, Dr. Emily Bilman from Geneva, who collects my work and contributes articles and Poetry to my ekphrasis project.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I feel very lucky to be working with such highly esteemed professionals as I am currently. Think of the likes of Wendy Steiner and Mary Ann Caws for example, but also and most importantly Norman Dubie.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017? The former Queen of The Netherlands as she is a true artist in her own right and creates magnificent sculptures.
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I’m working on part three of my ekphrasis project and it really is a treat to receive new texts and to interact about my work and the work by others like Ira Schneider who contributed a video to the project. For example I’ll be lecturing at Tilburg University as part of Dr. Inge van de Ven’s intermediality class/course.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I’ll be exhibiting my work in Geneva, more precisely in Cologny, Centre Culturel du Manoir de Cologny.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I can relate as I keep on painting and musing when I really should take a break, I myself am startled by my own ongoing lust for painting and the liberal arts in general.
Which creative heroes should Peter invite to tell their story? Lucas Reiner and Lawrence Carroll.
How can you contact me?
Joost de Jonge: A Life of Art
ViCA (Venice Institute of contemporary Art video/Juri Koll/Peter Frank)