Melle Daamen has a great track record in the Dutch art world. He was the founding director of the Mondriaan Fund, director of Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam and Theater Rotterdam. Wherever Melle is, there is room for innovation and for original ideas and opinions. For example, he’s not fond of (the typical Amsterdam) obedient talk, neither does he like "l’art pour l’art". Damen adds: "Art without an audience remains introverted and does not communicate anything". He’s happy to be an iconoclast as long as the atmosphere remains good and social interest is paramount. He sat on the Council for Culture for eight years, regularly publishes in the NRC-Handelsblad and is a member of the European Cultural Parliament. According to Damen, art is not a visually pleasing image: "With good art there is work to be done."
As far as I am concerned, the most fascinating period in the visual arts lies at the beginning of the last century. Artists struggled between figurative and abstract. They invented the phenomenon that abstraction can have as much expressiveness as figuration. Artists such as Picasso, Picabia, Brancusi, Malevich, Matisse and Mondrian, it seems, passed effortlessly from one to the other. Their oeuvre is not dominated by a development from figurative to abstract. They were concerned with the expression of something that sometimes turned out figuratively and at other times abstract, or something in between. Take, for example, the 'egg' by Brancusi, which is part of the collection of the Kröller-Möller Museum, versus his elongated bronze portraits that can be found in almost every modern art museum. You can still see this struggle between the figurative and the abstract in the work of some contemporary artists, also in the Netherlands.