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Cultivate Featured Artist: Jhonie van Boeijen

The Cultivate Curatorial Board is excited to share the work of Jhonie van Boeijen, a painter based in Groningen, in the Netherlands!

Jhonie van Boeijen shares her work and process in our interview below.

Learn more about the Cultivate Featured artist series below Learn more about Jhonie on her :

Instagram @jhonievanboeijen

Briefly describe your work or share your artist statement

As a child I grew up between packages and price tags due to the fact my parents own their own toy store. Ever since I was little I have always been attracted by the colors and the designs of the products and how they can hypnotize you to need that specific item. As I got older I started noticing this attraction in other stores too but mainly in supermarkets. In recent years I have developed a great interest in psychology, sociology and philosophy about consumerism, but also interests in gastronomy, nutrition and food psychology.

Via the paintings that I make I would like to engage in a conversation about individuality and identity through consumerism, but also would like to give the possibility to look at consumerism from a different angle. With the work I would like to discuss the role of consumerism in our daily lives and how quickly we can feel the impact of international events in our shopping carts. How does social media influence our food culture with rapid changing food trends and how does this impact our demand for new innovative products. What does this innovation mean to the design of these products and is it possible that we can use this to point out and document a specific era in time.

From the products that we purchase we can tell more about the individual buying these items than what is for dinner that night. Products can tell us very personal things about the consumer, what is their background, financial status, diet, how sustainable the consumer is and even how many people the household consists of. In this way, we can look at products like a kind of personality traits that eventually will form portraits of the consumer.

Girls Night Out. Oil Paint. 2021. Image courtesy of the artist

How do you go about beginning a new piece? Do you have it planned or is it more spontaneous?

At the moment that I start to develop a new work I tend to stalk people in the supermarket and observe what they will put in their shopping carts/basket. Once I have found something that catches my eye I will start collecting the products that are the same or similar so I can re compose the bags later at home. Sometimes I do engage in conversation with the consumer when they have a really cute reusable grocery bag that I would like to purchase myself. At this moment I am finishing a project that I have been working on since January 2021 in the south border region of Sweden and Norway, so all the current bags and other paintings are inspired by Swedish/Norwegian products.

Early Spring. Oil Paint. 2022 .Image courtesy of the artist

What is a barrier that you, as an artist, overcame?

Maybe the biggest barrier I have encountered throughout my development, and still facing now and then, would be doubt. In the past I have wondered if I have made the right choice in my subjects, if it might be a good idea to go into a different direction, or even if I should experiment more with color or different styles. This doesn’t necessarily mean it was always bad, because of this doubt I took moments to reflect on my work and push myself. I’d like to think you can turn everything into something positive.

What is your go-to music when you're working on art?

When I work it always depends on what I am doing that day and what I am in the mood for. I mostly listen to metal or rock, but at the same time I can enjoy the occasional 2000’s pop music. Also techno, industrial and country music are on my playlist often. If I am not in the mood to listen to music I might go for a podcast or even a cooking/baking show.

What do you strive for as an artist? What form of recognition is important for you?

With the work I make I strive to create a possibility to invite everyone to come and experience art, even the people that have the feeling that they can’t participate for whatever reason. I want to bring something that is enjoyable to look at while at the same time I explore my subject matter, and bring awareness over the issues I would like to address. The most desired recognition would be when people appreciate my work and look for ways to share it with other people.

Summer Ending. 2020. Oil Paint. Image Courtesy of Artist.

What advice would you share for artists? Share something that you have learned along the way.

The best advice I could give an artists, is to stay as true to yourself as you possibly can. When you find an art style that you really like, try to make that yours so it will transform into an extension of yourself.

What is a work of art that is an inspiration to you?

I think one of the works that has inspired me to be where I am today is America’s favourite from Ralph Goings. This painting has been my introduction to photorealism, right after I started to discover more and more of these amazing artists. I do believe that this was the moment that I consciously made the decision I wanted to become a realist painter.

Who are three working artists that you love and would recommend?

This is not an easy question because there are so many great artists out there that I would love to share with everyone. I think I would have to pick Roberto Bernardi, Doug Bloodworth and Bertrand Meniel because of their subject choices and their usage of color.

Beans. Oil Paint. 2021. Image courtesy of the artist

The Maze. 2019. Image Courtesy of Artist

Cultivate Artists

A curated collection of emerging and midcareer artists. The featured artist program at Cultivate serves to share the artist's work and process with the community, inviting them to understand how and why an artist creates the work they do, to market and promote artists, and to connect artists to each other and to our network of curators, artists, and gallery owners.

These artists are curated together and represent the work that we exhibit at Cultivate. The artists are selected in January and June, and scheduled out for the six-month period. If you are interested in being one of Cultivate featured artists, please visit our open call for submissions.

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