Interview with Tamara Muller
a)I live in a town near the sea close to Haarlem and not too far from Amsterdam.
a)Because both my parents were painters, I was surrounded by works of art and artists when I was just a little girl. My older brother and sister didn’t catch the obsession for making art, but I did. Since early childhood I have been making drawings (I loved using pen and ink), paintings and photographs.
It started with copying my dad. He made erotic paintings, so sometimes I made weird drawings for a 9 year old! But when I got older I found my own way, and also started to develop a a big interest in theatre, music, and film. When I was 18 years old I started to study Graphic Design at the Royal academy of Art in The Hague (NL) to combine all these media. (Although I knew I wasn’t a designer at all!)
q)How would you describe your art?
a)About my paintings I would say that they are imaginary figurative paintings.
Using traditional techniques and realistic elements in some parts and forgetting about ‘all that’ in other parts to create an ambiguous and eclectic image.
q)Where do you get the inspiration for your art?
a)The way people behave, their weakness and their strength.
The grey area between good and evil.
I’m intrigued by scientific experiments on human behaviour.
Images and stories in news and media. (violence or erotic stuff)
Fairytales of Grimm in the old version (with horrible details)
Famous stories in literature and theatre plays like ‘Alice in Wonderland’, or ‘The Maids’ (Genet) wherein gaining or losing power plays a role and girls are the protagonists.
And of course there are autobiographic elements. (family life, relationships etc.)
I’m not sure if all this shows in my work, but it’s a mix of all these elements.
q)What other artists inspire you?
a)Painters of the human figure but none in particular (for instance Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville, and Daniel Richter). Besides that artists like Cindy Sherman, Paul McCarthy, or film directors Lars von Trier, David Lynch and Michael Haneke. Also some Dutch theatre groups: “De Mexicaanse Hond”’ or “Carver”.
q)Where can someone purchase your works?
a)One should look at NEWS on my website to find out where I exhibit at that particular moment.
q)What is your main medium of choice? ?
a)Painting. Aside from painting I eventually (after acting and making illustrations) decided to concentrate on working with video.
For my painting I start with making photographs, and I put my experiences in theatre and film into use of making video/performances.
q)What are you working on now?
a)Paintings and video for a group-exhibition called : “about a hunter, a girl and a wolf”
in the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem (NL).
I’m also working on new work for a solo exhibition in Tokyo (JP).
Both open in September 2008.
q)What advice could you give to someone who wants to be an artist?
a)Work every day, start making things you really enjoy making and don’t be afraid of exhibiting it.
q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?
a)In December I gave birth to a lovely daughter, so I am breastfeeding and changing diapers a lot at the moment.
I also love to cook, bake cakes, eat and drink a glass of wine with friends, and take a walk in the national park we live close to (no motorcycles, cars and dogs allowed!).
So at the moment I am just enjoying a quiet life together with ‘my man’ Bram, daughter Mia and our two cats.
I like to travel though, and a wild party once in a while!
q) What does music, in its entirety, mean to you?
a)Difficult to give a compact and complete answer to this question…
It fills me with energy and emotion, and gives colour to a day, a place or event. There’s always a mood, memory or story attached.
At the moment it doesn’t play such an active role in my life as it has in the past. I played bassguitar in a band once and classical piano for years..
But it still is an inspiration to some of my artworks and I like to sing along while I’m working (and nobody is listening). Singing to Mia is great too, she just learned to smile and loves it!
q) What does art, in its entirety, mean to you?
a)Everything. It’s completely interweaved in my live and way of looking at things. I don’t think it’s possible to forget about it for a while. Everything I see and feel relates to art one way or another.
q) Are there some web sites that You would like to recommend? Artists, art communities,
Folkert de Jong