Pure Psychic Automatism: Interview with Guillaume (Willem Lodewijk den Dunnen)
Guillaume, also named as Willem Lodewijk den Dunnen, was born on the 12th of June 1948 in Hardinxveld, the Netherlands. He was a student at the Academy Vredeman de Vries in Leeuwarden from 1968 till 1970. He has been a very active painter since 2012. His works are mostly shown in the international exhibitions such as Malmö in Sweden, Monaco -Art Monaco-, the Louvre in Paris, Studio 26 in New York, Art Fairs in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Rome, Naples, Paris Biennale and Biennale Palermo in Sicily. His work can be best described as surreal or magic realistic.
Guillaume was rewarded La Palma d’Oro per l’Arte award in September 2014 at Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. In December 2014 at the Hotel Banke in Paris, Guillaume was awarded the Biennial Paris award. Guillaume was selected as one of the 700 artists from 7000 applications world-widely to participate in Palermo Artexpo, held between the 11th till the 25th of January, 2015. He exhibited his works at the Palazzo Sant 'Elia in Palermo, Italy and received many praises in art reviews in that country. Guillaume was awarded Premio ¨Il David di Bernini¨ in 2015 for his painting Thanksgiven in Lecce, Italy.
OGP：Founded by the poet André Breton(1*) in Paris in 1924, Surrealism was an artistic and literary movement. It emphasizes enlightenment other than rationalism or reality. The influential 17th- and 18th-century intellectual movement promoted individualism and emphasized the underlying irrational or unconscious mind. Surrealism’s goal was to liberate thought, language, and human experience from the oppressive boundaries of rationalism. From the 1920s onward, the movement spread around the globe, eventually influenced the visual arts, literature, film, and music in many countries and languages, as well as politics, philosophy, and social theories. The word 'surrealist' was coined by Guillaume Apollinaire(2*) and first appeared in the preface to his play Les Mamelles de Tirésias, which was written in 1903. We don’t think this was coincident when you also used the name “Guillaume”. Is there any relationship to your background and art experience?
Guillaume：As my first training after high school I attended the academy Vredeman de Vries in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. In my younger years it was difficult to make a living in this and I started in education, initially as administrator and later as manager. I shaped this professional training after I received my disapprobation as education manager (physical disability). Art has always fascinated me, my spirit is kept alive. During my teaching career, I did a lot of photography. That shaped and maintained my way of looking at things. In addition, my wife and children had directed me into another career.
OGP：Yes, the support from family members could be great giant motivation. The majority of the Surrealist artists were highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and unknown artwork. Such as Salvador Dali (3*), Max Ernst(4*), Magritte(5*). Dalí painted one of his most famous works, The Persistence of Memory, which introduced a surrealistic image of soft, melting pocket watches. Max Ernst created Forest and Dove in 1927. This painting has a heavily textured and three-dimensional appearance. Magritte’s style of surrealism is more like this than the "automatic" style of artists such as Joan Miró(6*). Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging for viewers. How would you describe your artistic style?
Guillaume：The style is often compared with acclaimed artists with multiple surrealists recently called metaphysical; but cannot be captured; it is totally unique and not to be reproduced even by myself. In addition, my working method, choice of materials and image topics make my artworks unique and different from others. I also have no special audience, just art lovers with flexible, vivid imagination. And those who have that, appreciate my chosen materials, my work method and with changing light they see, for example, multiple forms that excite them. This creates many more images and experience.
OGP：You have received a series of awards in the past few years. During the presentation of the Palma d’Oro in Monaco on 20 september 2014, the "In Control" painting was reviewed by art critics and awarded with Golden Palm. "Fieldbouquet" painting was awarded a plaque of Leonardo Incontra Canova. In December 2014, "Follow the money" was awarded the Biennial Paris award at the Hotel Banke in Paris, France, and "Thanksgiven" was awarded the Premio ¨Il David di Bernini¨ on the 17th of December 2015 in Lecce, Italy. With so many splendid achievements, where did you get your inspiration?
Guillaume：Daily life is a source of inspiration, education, politics, but also nature. Light and twilight. Joy and sorrow. My explorations are frequent, recently the Surrealists in Rotterdam, Jeronimus Bosch in s- Hertogenbosch, Francis Bacon in Monaco, Pablo Picasso in Monaco. Not only paintings but also sculptures, expressions that show connotations. During my holidays I'm constantly on the road and let myself be surprised by discoveries. I'm happy to live and don ́t let myself evolve. With who loves my work I ́m happy to converse but I want no contact with who judges my work. Because there is too much feeling in work.
OGP：Surrealist poets were at first reluctant to align themselves with visual artists because they believed that the laborious processes of painting, drawing, and sculpting were at odds with the spontaneous or uninhibited expression. Freud criticized Surrealism by saying that what the surrealists are interested in most was not about being conscious but unconscious. However, we believe Surrealism as one chapter in a series of revolutionary attempts to liberate thought, and even punk: a project of breaking down the rational order that society imposes on individuals. As a artist with great achievement, where do you showcase and exhibit your artworks?
Guillaume：I am proud of my publications and awards; although I feel my greatest achievement is yet to come. The valuation and the challenge that I repeatedly show in my work method, it motivates me to keep going. At art fairs, galleries and more, all mentioned in my CV. Also online and soon in a museum in Bruges; during a major exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci and Picasso. A poster showing Da Vinci, Picasso, Guillaume (Willem L. den Dunnen with about 40 works) and bronze sculptures by Tineke Thielemans.
OGP：That’s awesome, congratulations in advance. Some people often ask how to choose a good works of art? In your opinion, what is a "good" piece of artwork?
Guillaume：The work that excites you, that you can look at over and over again. In which you can reflect your feelings. Asian art has an extensive and positive symbolism. It knows, in my experience, fewer barriers than Western art, where religious beliefs are judgmental.
OGP：The acceptance of surrealism in Asia is on the rise. Last year "crazy Dali Art Exhibition" was held in the Shanghai Bund 18 and held in Chaoyang District, Beijing; "Picasso into China" have received a huge social praise, and the audiences are numerous . With the openness of China's society and the diversity of aesthetic awareness, Asia will be an abundant market. do you hope to achieve in the field in future?
Guillaume：Through the embarked roads to get there where in Art is our Mecca. Biennale in Venice for example, Art Basel and its own reference, peppered with personal life.
Thank you, Mr. Guillaume(Willem Lodewijk den Dunnen) for this meaningful discussion today. Please continue to attend to OGP, OhGoodParty.com and GUILLAUME .
1* André Breton (19 February 1896 – 28 September 1966) was a French writer, poet, and anti-fascist. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto (Manifeste du surréalisme) of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism".
2* Guillaume Apollinaire (26 August 1880 – 9 November 1918) was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic of Polish descent. Apollinaire is considered one of the foremost poets of the early 20th century, as well as one of the most impassioned defenders of Cubism and a forefather of Surrealism. He is credited with coining the term "cubism" in 1911 to describe the emerging art movement and the term "surrealism" in 1917 to describe the works of Erik Satie.
3* Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Púbol (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989), known professionally as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.
4* Max Ernst (2 April 1891 – 1 April 1976) was a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and Surrealism.
5* René François Ghislain Magritte (21 November 1898 – 15 August 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality. His imagery has influenced pop, minimalist and conceptual art.
6* Joan Miró i Ferrà 20 April 1893 – 25 December 1983) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona. A museum dedicated to his work, the Fundació Joan Miró, was established in his native city of Barcelona in 1975, and another, the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, was established in his adoptive city of Palma de Mallorca in 1981.
* By OGP Editors / Willem Lodewijk den Dunnen, and Dutch Luxury Design Provides File Photos
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