DB Waterman

DB Waterman is an illustrator, photographer, collage and mixed media artist from Netherlands. She has developed a personal techniques in realizing her collages mixing multiple media and languages. She is able to blend together photography, painting and typography and she creates timeless scene where past, present and future intertwined.

Here’s the quick chat we had about her practice:

The subjects of many of your artworks are children. Childhood it’s a crucial moment in our lives and our childhood memories are always full of emotions. To create this pieces do you take inspirations from your memories? Do you want to trigger specific emotions in the viewers?

DB.W.: Although I never analyse my own works, they will without any doubt hold elements of my own past and present. I indeed love the child’s perspective, because it is so much stronger than that of us adults. They don’t look back, they  might do it later but not just now, while they are still young. They tenaciously live in the present and are trusting what is to come and this way they can survive even the most horrible experiences. I don’t use personal memories for painting. Crazy enough it is the oter way around. My finished paintings make me remember things of the past that I had profoundly forgotten. It is strange. Panting is mostly unconscious for me. I get inspired and I paint what I see in my head. I see every detail. For me there is no room to add a semantic layer, so I don’t aim to trigger emotions. The paintings might evoke emotions, but  these are not really intended, but very much welcome by me indeed!

Your creative process consists in assembling the artwork layer by layer. The result is a stratification of materials which mimics the “weathered walls plastered with peeling paint and old posters” that are an inspiration for you. When you create your own stratification you freeze the time flow and replace it with the specific time embodied in the work. Moreover, combining old and new materials you are able to create a timeless dimension were multiple narratives can coexist according to the viewers emotions and feelings. What is you relationship with time? 

DB.W.: There is no relationship with time while I paint. I get lost in time while I paint. I start, get absorbed in painting and all of a sudden I am 5 hours later.

You participated in the “Portraits from the Precipice” art prize for climate change and some of your works features factory’s chimneys as a critic to pollution. Is it important for you to address social issues like for instace climate change in your work? Which are the worst problems our society are facing in your opinion?

DB.W.: As said, children are important to me. I fully support Greta Thunberg in her appalled “How dare you?!”. Indeed how dare we carelessly stack up the backs of our kid with the burden of our disinterest!

In your career, what is your next goal?

DB.W.: Make a Million an buy a larger studio. I love what I do, so as an artist I don’t have many other wishes.

Golden Brown, 2017, Collage and acrylic on paper, 30 x 48 cm. Courtesy of the Artist
Home is where the heart is, 2020, Collage and acrylic on paper, 48 x 63 cm. Courtesy of the Artist
It seemed just a good idea, 2019, Collage and acrylic on paper, 63 x 48 cm. Courtesy of the Artist

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