Initially, Bob Eikelboom was predominantly interested in the meaning of artistry and painting and all its possibilities and limitations. This formed the basis for a series of monochromes that quickly developed into the so-called 'magnet works'. These paintings consist of a steel plate on which magnetic figures have been applied. As a result, the painting invites you to play with the composition, which can continue to change indefinitely. With this, Eikelboom undermines the position of the artist as a creator. He is mainly concerned with the power of art that lies in creating a reality that exists parallel to reality. Where does the viewer position himself in relation to these two worlds? Thanks to the imaginary, existing images and the relationships between artwork, spectator and artist are called into question.
Although painting never completely disappeared into the background, the role of
artistry gradually became more important during his studies at the Royal College of Art in London. Eikelboom’s questioning of the role of artistry has recently shifted in the direction of self-criticism that seems to transcend artistry, but which Eikelboom holds to be its foundation. In short, you could say that he first wondered 'where is the artist'? ', whereas he is now wondering 'where am I?' Critically reassessing foregone conclusions is a common thread in his work. While this initially concerned painting, it now concerns more worldly phenomena in which self-criticism forms an important element, and painting still forms an anchor point in his thinking.
"El Bobo is the fool, the idiot. You can become crazy about your own lust and desires. But it is also a state of being, a zero point that is necessary to make art. You could say that the madman is the one who raises problems for himself, thinks of his own solutions and cherishes that whole idea too. "
Moreover, these problems are becoming increasingly complex and the solutions more free. For the first time, Eikelboom shows charcoal sketches: revised versions of Picasso's fool's head, which zooms in ever further "until it becomes your own face". From scrap wood and shiny white epoxy he drew up a "throne for speeches by El Bobo" and a piece of furniture with a hood that he labeled as "a chair that echoes your voice and thoughts".
Parool - Making money for my friends
Making money for my friends is cheerful and hopeful about the future of art. Making images in the year 2018 can be punk and pop at the same time, with a good dose of self-reflection. In the center of the exhibition space is Bob Eikelboom's Liberal picture service. The sloppily finished exterior of this cabin is in stark contrast to the interior that is covered with rounded white walls. Once inside, the door closed, you see no shapes, no depth, nothing except light. While the eyes are being rinsed clean, the ears get food from sound recordings, snippets of music and film dialogues. This is an introduction to the frame of reference of the exhibiting millennials that cheerfully bounces in all directions.
Punk rock and horror are just as important for the three as knight novels,
classical portrait paintings and practical chemistry. Nor does hierarchy exist, not even between viewer and artist. The composition of Medusa & place this work next to Medusa for the inkblot test, a lovely diptych performed in baby pink and light blue, can be adjusted by visitors themselves. The picture elements exist
namely from fridge magnets. With this work, the then 22-year-old Eikelboom won the Royal Award for Free Painting four years ago. It is not a big bet to predict that this fifty-year work will adorn the pages of many a catalog of 21st century painting. Eikelboom has now perfected its recipe. The mobile puzzle pieces have become even more diverse and can even be found on the edges.
In the room of director Stijn Huyts Van Lienden was seized by a sculpture by his peers Bob Eikelboom (1991). The reflective semicircle, made of polyurethane foam and sprayed with purple car paint, constantly looked at him during the conversations with the director, he says, "as an all-seeing eye". "It reminded me of the works of Anish Kapoor, but also of the convex mirror in the Arnolfini portrait by Jan van Eyck. Such an all-seeing eye fits nicely with Perry's circle of life. "
Bob Eikelboom studied at the Royal Academy in The Hague (2008-2012) and Royal College of Art, London (2015-2017). He is the recipient of the 2014 Royal Award for Modern Painting. His work is, among other things, included in the collections of the Bonnefanten museum, Maastricht and the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. His work is also included in a large number of private collections and the corporate collections of AkzoNobel, ING, KRC.
2015-2017 MFA Painting, Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom
2008-2012 Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, The Hague, The Netherlands
2015 Hendrik Muller Fonds, scholarship
2015 Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, scholarschip
2014 Royal Award for Modern Painting, The Netherlands
2012 Startstipendium Mondriaan Fonds
2018 Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2017 Liberal Picture Service, Royal College of Art Graduation show, London, United Kingdom
2015 The Eternal Temptation of Creating a Masterpiece, Barbara Seiler, Zürich, CH
2014 Moonshine, Boetzelaer|Nispen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2013 Discolor, Galerie Rianne Groen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2018 De meest eigentijdse, Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Making Money for my Friends, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2016 Fortune Teller, Garage Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Beating around the Bush #4, Collection presentation, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2015 Making Monsters for my Friends, De Nederlansche Bank, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Beating around the Bush #3, Collection presentation, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Not a Painting, The Hole, New York, United States of America
Urbi et Orbi, Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague, The Netherlands
2014 Disaster Date, Gastatelier Leo XIII, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dull as Ditchwater, Le Plafond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Beating Aroud the Bush #2, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Gran Turismo, Boetzelaer|Nispen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2013 Slow is Smooth is Fast, Boetzelaer|Nispen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Now or Never, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands