Joep Klinkenbijl

My career has always been within the music and film environment, in The Netherlands as well as abroad.  I owned a music and video store, worked as a DJ and presenter in various clubs in The Netherlands and organised a variety of large-scale musical events. I am interested in all kinds of subjects, such as culture, history, theatre and art.

When did you come to Cyprus and how did you see things then?

I visited Cyprus 20 years ago, I was directly impressed and fell in love with the island.
4 years ago I decided to start a company in Cyprus and together with my wife Yvonne we left Holland. We saw the possibilities to start a new business and a new way of living. Cyprus already has changed a lot compared to the first time I was here.

Tell us about your work and what inspires you?

I am entirely self-taught. I like to create and in between I’ve developed my own recognizable style as a signature. My paintings are mainly abstract and generally portray images. I use oils and acrylic resin and compose with different mediums. I like to paint in all sizes. Big or small. The inspiration is the surroundings, sometimes just a view or even just ideas that are spinning around in my head.

What is your view on art in Cyprus?

There are so many people who are creative on this island, of course because the atmosphere opens up minds and talents.  However, there is a big difference between art and creative results. What I do like are the exhibitions from Art schools and centres. I always try to go there, it is a kind of inspiration, where I see the enormous enthusiasm in young people to make their creations.

As an artist, what kind of changes do you think can be done in Cyprus?

It is a small island. It would be nice if there were a bigger opening in the art scene to get the possibility of an artist from abroad to exhibit in places like Nicosia or Larnaca. It would be nice if there were a more open network between the businesses in art and the artist. It is very difficult to get in this scene.

Can an artist survive solely on his work today?

No, not in Cyprus. First you have to get your name in the minds of the people. That is only possible with exhibitions and promoting all the way around. And the price of art is a big problem. In Western Europe people invest easy in art. It is a part of their living and interior. In Cyprus you must be famous to make a living out of it.

What is your current work focused on?

Reflections and the challenge to go with less.  More thrill and visual effect for the eye!
It is a continuing story.

When is your next exhibition?

From the 12th of August until the end of September at the Gallery in Tala.
The current one is on my website.

Interview by Natalie Hadjiadamos


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