Ruud Empel_1

Cut & Paste

interview with Ruud van Empel

RK> What has led you to atomize and join together all that parts of surrounding reality?

RE> Photoshop has many possibilities, and I like to use it, and to see how far I can go, what else can be possible in creating a photorealistic image of a fantasy that I have, that is what led to use this technique. It is exciting to work with it and challeging. I must say that I fail many times, and to make one image to my satisfaction I must create at least 4 others that has to fail which then are not used. There is a long way to a succesfull image.

RK> Is it a child‘s play or technological progress that you strive to show us? Though, paradoxically, it is not visible at first sight...

RE> After studying the software for some years, and learning myself the technique of how to use photoshop in an effective way, the child’s play can be put in place, and that is at his most effective in the idea’s for the works, rather than in the technique.

RK> Is it something personal that still bothers you as an artist? Or is it all about showing the artistic skills? Something in the style of l‘art pour l‘art?

RE> It is neither of them, I just enjoy making art, so why not make it then.

RK> Something beautifully weird can be seen in the expression of photographed faces. In one interview you’ve mentioned you admire painters Otto Dix, Edvard Munch or photographer like Mike Disfarmer. Why do you look backwards? Do we need to be inspired like this and to be sure to make a new artwork?

RE> Those artist that you mention are simply some of my favourites because of the theme’s in their work, and they happened to be living in the past, but the subject like humanism, psychological tension, and disarmingly beauty and innocence are inspirational to me and you can see that in the work of those artist, they are not subject you see a lot in today’s art, but they are what interest me.

RK> Also the cibachrome technique you do is well proved, and let’s say old fashioned. On the other hand there’s Photoshop as a powerful post-production graphic tool... Is it a today‘s principle or goal to mix the historical with the contemporary digital? Is it the only way how to „survive“ at all?

RE> Cibachrome is a phototechnique that has proven to be longlasting, it is over 50 years old, and prints that old are colourfull and bright today, as if they were printed yesterday. That is why I use cibachrome. And my works print very well on cibachrome, the colors come out very good in this printing technique, that is another important reason for me to use it.

RK> What other techniques do you use or develop? What’s the connection between the form/shape and the concept/idea in your photography?

RE> Again, the technique is just wonderfull to create images with, If I would not use photoshop, I would do painting, but that takes a long time, and I have a lot of ideas. I would not be able to create so many works in painting, specially when the painting should look very realistic. And I like photography very much, but when I took a simple photo there was always something not right to my idea, and I could correct this with photoshop. I quess you can say this got out of hand, and I started to create the whole image, but to me that is ideal, in spite of the fact that it is a lot of work.

RK> You exhibit all over the world. This reminds a bit the story of the „Flying Dutchman“. Aren’t you afraid of the fame in way that one day it will kill your freedom and decrease the quality of your artwork? It seems it’s a conclusive problem of many well-known artists nowadays. Could it be understood as a natural process?

RE> I don’t think about that too much. To be able to show my work all over the world means I get all kinds of reactions on it. And that can be very interesting and inspiring, so actually that gives me more energy and more new ideas. So that is for me the way to deal with this situation.

? Richard Kitta
: Ruud van Empel © Flatland Gallery / Utrecht

see more in ENTER No. 3