13 episodes

Art and design, from the Netherlands. 'Dutch Art & Design Today' is a podcast hosted by John Bezold, which explores these two worlds and those working within them. From publishers and artists, to designers and curators, painters and podcasters; this podcast takes listeners behind the scenes of their work, to find out why Dutch art and design is so highly regarded across cultures, and time. You can find more of John's work over on his website.

Dutch Art & Design Today John Bezold

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Art and design, from the Netherlands. 'Dutch Art & Design Today' is a podcast hosted by John Bezold, which explores these two worlds and those working within them. From publishers and artists, to designers and curators, painters and podcasters; this podcast takes listeners behind the scenes of their work, to find out why Dutch art and design is so highly regarded across cultures, and time. You can find more of John's work over on his website.

    Francien Krieg

    Francien Krieg

    'I understand the anger from a lot of people around AI. I had the same. The first time I saw AI, it made me very angry—at the whole development. I thought: what is this? But I also thought: how can I have such a strong opinion about AI, if I don't know what it, is? So I decided to dig into it and explore it. That's the only way to know what you're talking about... Before my work in AI, I was always making my own photos of models and I always stuck very close to the reference. But with AI, I feel like I'm sketching. I can explore more things in a much shorter time; at a much faster pace, than having to depend on photos from models... AI challenges me. And I'm thankful for all the inspiration it's giving me.'

    —Francien Krieg

    For the twelfth episode of ‘Dutch Art & Design Today’, I sat down with Francien Krieg, a Dutch painter whose work in portraiture explores the process of aging in relation to the human body. Francien studied monumental design at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, and then painting at the Vrije Academy, also in The Hague, graduating in 2003. During her studies, she was intensely preoccupied with the theme of the passing of time and devoted much of her work as a student to exploring the subject. Time has become a central theme of Francien's work, and she is today best known for her large-scale oil paintings, whose main subjects are often older women. The perspectival approach that Francien uses to frame her subjects often results in an exaggeration of scale; such as by zooming-in on a subject's face, so that it alone occupies the canvas; or by having the viewer look 'up', or 'down', toward the painted subject's body. Working out of her home studio—where this episode was recorded—Francien carefully poses and composes her sitters, after inviting them into her studio, photographing them many times, before then creating a composition for a painting. However, in addition to her portraiture in oil paints, Francien also creates works with AI.

    In this hour-and-half-long talk that begins with Francien's memories of her father—we discuss how she came to be exploring the subject of time in her work, which directly relates to her father's fascination with death. We then move on to discuss how her student years were instrumental in finding the method and approach to her process. For an artist preoccupied with the passing of time, and portraying the aging process in her work; the pandemic had an outsized effect on her process, and Francien relays how she made use of prolonged periods of isolation in 2020 and 2021, in relation to her painting practice. The last part of our talk is focused on Francien's work using AI—Stable Diffusion and Midjourney—and she explains how the process of working in AI, has inversely affected her work in oils. When it comes to distributing her AI work, Francien makes use of the Tezos blockchain, where her work has been enthusiastically embraced by art collectors. To conclude, Francien explains her choice of portraying subjects in the nude, and how her work refashions outdated ideals around, 'growing old.'

    You can find Francien and her work on her website, Twitter, and Instagram.

    You can find John on Twitter ⁠@johnbezold⁠ and at his website ⁠johnbezold.com⁠.

    • 1 hr 37 min
    Giancarlo Pazzanese

    Giancarlo Pazzanese

    'In digital fashion, craftsmanship has moved from knowing how to work with leather, or how to embroider physically. But I think the craftsmanship that’s done in digital fashion is the same if not more than the time spent crafting physical fashion. So, the craftsmanship of the traditional fashion industry is still present in the digital fashion industry; it’s just that digital fashion designers are using different tools, in their work. And it’s funny how in the real world we try to delete imperfections and become more perfect. But digital fashion is about making things less perfect; more imperfect.'

    —Giancarlo Pazzanese

    For the eleventh episode of ‘Dutch Art & Design Today’, I sat down with Giancarlo Pazzanese—a Chilean-Italian educator, designer, and digital fashion expert. Giancarlo's work is rooted in a deep respect for history, and he is an advocate for inclusivity and diversity in 3D, digital, metaverse, and web3 design. He previously taught fashion history and digital fashion, at the Amsterdam Fashion Academy—where he was in charge of establishing the pedagogical curriculum and programming around these topics. More recently, he began teaching at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. Most prominently, his work explores design and fashion, in relation to augmented reality and 3D design, on both the production and supply chain sides; as well as garment design.

    In this fascinating talk that begins with Giancarlo’s childhood; we discuss how growing up in Chile during the 1970s had an effect on his views on the material world of ‘things’—from art to buildings. We then discuss how he experiences history, especially the built environment of Amsterdam and Europe. Our conversation continues to AI; what it can, and what it cannot, do; how the knowledge a user brings to it, has an outsized influence on its output; and how he uses it in his work in fashion. To conclude, Giancarlo talks about his time at the Fashion Academy, and breaks down the nuances of his work there; some of the programs and modes of thought that he embedded in the institution; and what it is that makes teaching fashion history and digital fashion, so exciting to students, today.

    You can find Giancarlo on Instagram, over on Twitter, and at his website.

    You can find John on Twitter ⁠@johnbezold and at his website ⁠johnbezold.com⁠.

    • 1 hr 35 min
    Maaike Rikhof

    Maaike Rikhof

    'What I'm predominately interested in, is telling stories of people that might have been overlooked. But you have to be very careful. Because not everyone has the same starting point or opinion on topics that you might want to discuss—for example, if it's about gender, a queer perspective, or a decolonial perspective. I want to present a story that feels respectful to everyone who visits a museum, but that still can be challenging for people with different views. But without scaring them away completely... Museums, in an increasingly individualized society, can offer people the opportunity and chance to come into contact with viewpoints and histories, and stories outside of their own. In this sense, the end goal, for me: it's decreasing polarization and increasing mutual understanding.'

    —Maaike Rikhof

    For the tenth episode of ‘Dutch Art & Design Today’, I sat down with Maaike Rikhof, who is the Curator of Modern Art at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Maaike studied art history at the University of Amsterdam, where she focused her research on the sociological aspects of art and received her BA and MA degrees. She also spent a year studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, which was instrumental in her focusing her work on the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, in relation to the ideas and social movements behind the artworks that were produced during those eras. Before starting in her current role at the Frans Hals Museum, Maaike spent time at the Van Gogh Museum as a researcher, and was also a curator in training at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and more recently, guest curated the exhibition ‘The New Woman’ at the Singer Laren Museum—which was on display at the museum from 13 September 2022-8 January 2023. As Maaike makes clear during the interview, she focuses her research on the ideas behind the art from c. 1880-1920—as opposed to their literal, formal aspects—in her quest to probe the depths, of the socio-political contexts that fueled the creation of art in those eras.

    In this hour-and-a-half-long talk, Maaike recounts how she found her way to art history and discusses at length, how it is that she approaches her work in museums through the lens of sociology. We first discuss her childhood, and how her father—who was a medieval archivist at the Rijksmuseum—influenced her own interest in museums. She then recounts her early fascination with Netherlandish altarpieces, and a particularly memorable visible to the Hospices de Beaune in Burgundy, where she encountered Rogier van der Weyden’s ‘The Last Judgment’; and then muses on her encounter with Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ at the Uffizzi Gallery in Florence; and how these experiences cemented her love of the history of the social contexts that accompany the genesis of works of art. Later, Maaike talks about her use of the digital humanities in relation to her curatorial work, and the advantages of being a digital native, in terms of the ways she makes use of databases for research, and how she disseminates her research using, for instance, digital publishing. We then discuss what it is that enthralls her, concerning museums and their ability to participate in societal discussions. And to conclude, Maaike hints at what she has planned for the Frans Hals Museum, and its collection of modern art.

    You can learn more about Maaike and follow her and her work, on Instagram.

    You can find John on Twitter ⁠@johnbezold⁠ and at his website ⁠johnbezold.com⁠

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Felix Pensel

    Felix Pensel

    'In the early-seventeenth century, group portraiture was about social relationships that were the topic of such paintings. And in the late-nineteenth century, visual language in painting was a little more open; a little more abstract. So for me, the canvas is like a stage of happenings that play out on a global level. And that's the reason that my large-scale canvases tend to look like theatrical compositions. They are, basically, meant to portray different digital spaces. I want to paint the metaverse... Some people have more power, some people have less... It's these different levels of social power, which I express in my large-scale work.'

    —Felix Pensel

    For the ninth episode of ‘Dutch Art & Design Today’, I sat down with Felix Pensel—a Nuremberg-based artist whose work spans many mediums, most notably large-scale canvas paintings, and more recently, digital art. Felix has devoted his life to art; he eats, sleeps, and breathes art; and he is nearly entirely self-taught. He was first inspired to become an artist at his grandfather's urging, which led him to start drawing, then visiting art museums more and more during his youth—ultimately finding his way to the monumental canvases of artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn and Peter Paul Rubens. The compositions of such Old Master paintings have inspired his own work, especially his digital paintings, which are complexly layered three-dimensional planes inhabited by countless figures, sometimes in unsettling or even surreal poses and situations. In this way, his work recalls the haunting worlds of the Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch. Felix’s digital artwork is minted on Tezos and Ethereum, whereas his physical works have been widely exhibited throughout Europe.

    In this incredibly relaxed interview, we meander our way from Felix’s childhood, growing up in Nuremberg, and his many visits to museums to visit the Old Masters, specifically the work of Rubens. We then discuss his relationship to drawing as a child, being inspired by the prints and drawings of Albrecht Dürer—a fellow Nuremberg native; his later dabbles in graffiti; and how his experiences in graffiti lead him to turn his attention to creating large-scale paintings. We then discuss how he is influenced by the built environment around him, in Germany, and oppositely, what it is that makes the contemporary art world so fascinating, when it collides with web3. The second half of our talk is centered on the Tezos community; how Felix makes use of and his views on working with AI; and the enthusiasm of artists and collectors in the Tezos space. Lastly, Felix talks about his newest works minted on ⁠⁠SuperRare⁠⁠, the ideas behind them, and how they relate to compositions of late-nineteenth-century French group portraiture painting.

    Works by Felix discussed: '⁠⁠Cosmos of Cream⁠⁠', '⁠⁠Blue Haze', and 'Diamonds and Pizza'.

    You can find Felix on Twitter ⁠⁠@felixpensel⁠⁠ and at his website ⁠⁠felixlepeintre.com⁠⁠.

    You can find John on Twitter ⁠⁠@johnbezold⁠⁠ and at his website ⁠⁠johnbezold.com⁠⁠.

    • 1 hr 42 min
    Sara Birkofer

    Sara Birkofer

     'I'm really interested in contemporary art because it can be anything. And I know that that's very off-putting for some people. When it comes to artistic movements; you have a lot of different styles that are very particular and very stylized and very identifiable. When it comes to contemporary art, you don't really have that as much, because the whole basis of contemporary art is that it's what's happening now. It's living artists in essence; that's what the word contemporary truly means...'

    —Sara Birkofer

    For the eighth episode of ‘Dutch Art & Design Today’, I sat down with Sara Birkofer, who is the Assistant Director of Gallery and Accessibility Programming at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Sara studied art history at the University of Cincinnati and French language and culture at La Sorbonne, in Paris. For the past decade, she has been affiliated with the Cincinnati Art Museum, where she has been instrumental in furthering its mission of public inclusivity via the many educational programs that the museum carries out. The museum, which was founded in 1881, is also the oldest fine art museum in the Midwestern United States—and as she explains, she makes good use of the collection, in its entirety, within her work. Sara's interests in contemporary art; French and more generally, European history and culture; combined with her affinity for being a connector of people using art; has lead her to develop numerous in-gallery educational programs at the Cincinnati Art Museum, for visitors of—quite literally—all backgrounds and ages.

    In this episode, which was recorded at the museum, we discuss her education in the USA and Europe, including how her studies in Paris and London led to her immersing herself in countless galleries and museums throughout Europe. She then defines contemporary art and explains its importance to the culture at large, its role in museums, and how—unlike the art of the past—its meanings and purposes can be more abstractly approached, from the perspective of the viewer. When then dive into her immersive-focused educational work at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and how she uses the museum's collection as a catalyst to advance the museum's mission—beyond its own walls—to foster community within the city. Sara has developed, among others, a baby art tour, a program for children with autism, as well as intimate, sensory-focused tours, for groups whose participants are blind. In addition to being an award-winning museum educator for her prior work, she's also developing new programs at the museum—which she lays out and expounds on, near the end of our talk.

    You can find out more about the Cincinnati Art Museum on its website.

    You can find John on Twitter @johnbezold and at his website johnbezold.com.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Mayken Jonkman

    Mayken Jonkman

    ‘For the nineteenth century, Dutch artists had to try to emulate artists from the seventeenth century. It was the standard that they had to try and find. And if they exhibited in Paris, that’s also what the critic said: "this is like a Ruisdael; that’s like a Rembrandt; he’s doing a very good imitation of that artist." And that’s something they had to fight against, or overcome. And that only happened, with the advent of The Hague school, and its artists. There's also a French-Dutch part of the French School of Barbizon, whose own artists actually looked back to the Dutch seventeenth century. But it's that moment, in which the Dutch nineteenth-century artists come into their own. And they in-turn, become an export product, and become internationally known. Especially in America and Great Britain, these artists were very much sought after.’

    —Mayken Jonkman

    For the seventh episode of ‘Dutch Art & Design Today’, I sat down with Mayken Jonkman, who is a Senior Curator of Nineteenth-Century Art, at The Netherlands Institute for Art History, in The Hague. Mayken is an art historian and researcher who takes an approach to her work that is kaleidoscopic in its nature. Since 2007, she has been a curator at the RKD, focused entirely on the nineteenth century, and specifically, interactions and artistic exchanges between France and the Netherlands. She has also been a lecturer in art history at numerous universities in the Netherlands; sits on the board of the European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art; and has authored a seemingly endless list of publications on artists, the use of photography by artists, and much more besides.

    In this episode, we trace these events in her life, all through the prism of the fabulously multi-faceted nineteenth century; with its many interlocking innovations, as related to society at large, from its cities, to its new modes of travel and transportation, to photography; and how all this affected its art. We then discuss her PhD, which she is completing at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and is entitled ‘Retour de Paris. Artistic Exchanges Between the Netherlands and France 1789-1914’, as well as the exhibition she guest-curated titled 'The Dutch in Paris 1789-1914', held at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and in Paris at the Petit Paleis. Lastly, Mayken explains what it is about the art of the nineteenth century that most fascinates her; and what it is that this period in history can teach us, today.

    Here you can listen to the podcast we reference in the episode, 'Dutch Artists in Paris', in which Mayken discusses her research.

    You can find out more about the RKD over on their website.

    You can find John on Twitter @johnbezold and at his website johnbezold.com.

    • 1 hr 25 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Arts

The Moth
Roman Mars
Rick Rubin
Snap Judgment
Rusty Quill

You Might Also Like