Can you share a few words about the city you are living in and how is the local art scene?
I currently live and work in Amsterdam the capital city of the Netherlands. Its a very international city, and there are artists working here from all over the world.
The art scene in the Netherlands in general is one of two layers. Establishment and underground. You either work your way up as and artist (with a lot of ‘blabla’) and become part of the elite, or you decide to do your practice with a more punk approach. In Amsterdam you can find both: the fancy galleries in the city center and opposite to that the squatted buildings where people organize their own exhibitions and concerts.
Amsterdam also has an interesting amount of museums and venues that I visit regularly including de Apple, Stedelijk Museum, Veem House for Performance, W139, FOAM Photography museum and EYE film institute.
How would you describe your work and what are your main influences?
I graduated in 2010 as a graphic artist at the Utrecht School of the Arts. After art school I co-founded a graphic design studio with my friend called Studio Zijspan where for 5 years we explored the niches between design, performance, installation and film.
Since end 2015 my focus changed from working for clients into initiating my own projects. Under the pseudonym ‘Peim’ I stared developing and exploring my own signature. My graphic background plays a very important role in the work i make, but the conceptual approach was dropped in order to work more intuitively.
I try to make art that is accessible: through strong contrasts, vibrating colors and patterns I draw your attention. With geometric surfaces, color combinations and overlaps I ‘trick’ the eye of the viewer so spontaneous optical sensations can take place. If you look long enough you start to doubt your own perception of what reality is.
The process of creation I perceive as important as the result. Every work is created as a performative and meditative ritual. I haven’t been in the position to perform my works in front of an audience as much as i would like, but that is something I will try more in the future.
This year I have been working a lot with stickers: I create collages and compositions with many different colors and shapes. I love the idea that the stickers i use are the same stickers used when an art piece is sold in a gallery or to price tag a product in the supermarket. Counter-capitalism!
What made you want to become an artist?
Everyone is born as an artist. From there on, we all decide on which level we want to develop our creativity. Creativity is not limited to people practicing visual arts, but for me that was the road to take. I grew up on a bio-dynamic farm in Argentina, and came back to the Netherlands at the age of 16 to finish my high school at the Waldorf School in Zutphen. As a kid and teenager I always had a great affinity with art (theater, drawing and graffiti) and was very much excited to study at the Art school. The freedom to explore and investigate was great for me. In 4 years I gained the confidence that I had made the right choice and i have been working since then on. In my workplace I try to cultivate the ‘laboratorium feeling’ I loved so much in school.
Are there any artists in particular that you identify with today?
There is a very large list of dead artists that inspire me (Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, León Ferrari, Stanley Kubrick, Joseph Beuys and many more) but the most I get out of the the young artists around me that I collaborate with. As a visual/graphic artist I am very lucky to work with many very talented performance artists, activists, musicians and designers. I have the feeling we are part of a very special generation, and we have a great need of expressing ourselves.
I try to make art that is accessible, through strong contrasts, vibrating colors and patterns I draw the viewer’s attention.
How do you feel about using online platforms to expose your works?
Besides museums, galleries or theaters I visit I get inspiration from some really cool people and venues I follow online, they give the daily feed of inspiration by sharing their work or processes. Online platforms are the future for exposing your work to a larger audience. And also makes it possible to interact with people from around the world.
What are you working on currently or your plans for the near future?
Recently I started translating my works into patterns for a new clothing brand in Amsterdam: WYS. The world of fashion is an attractive and crazy one, so lets see how that develops. I’m very excited about the new collection.
Besides this I’m currently very busy with an old school building in the Kolenkit District where I have my studio. In this building there is a community of artists and work spaces that is coming very much alive. Our intentions is to create a podium where we can organize events, lectures, exhibitions and parties.
Also i would like to pick up an old love of mine: silkscreen, it has been a while since I have been printing works, so time to catch up with that!