A)Ruud van Empel, 48 years, graduated at St. Joost Art University in 1981, Awarded with the St Joost Prize 1981, The Charlotte Kohler Prize 1993 and the H.N. Werkman prize in 2001, working as an artist since 1995.
Q)How did you get started making art?
A)By coincedence, in 1995 I started to experiment on the Apple MacIntosch computer in programmes like Quark Xpress and Photoshop, this resulted in my first publication named Photographics, a combination of graphic works and photography.
Q)How would you describe your art?
A)They are photo-collages made with the help of software like photoshop.
Q)Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related
A)There is not one big influence, I mostly like painers, like Otto Dix, Edvard Munch and Walter Spies, but also some photographers like Mike Disfarmer, August Sander and Norbert Ghisoland.
Q) How do you approach the creation of a new piece... how does everything come together?
A)Coincindence is very important in making collages, I photograph all kinds off things, just following my fascinations, later these photo’s happen to come together in one collage. Sometimes it takes years for a photo to get into my collages, lots of photo’s I take never get in .
Q) What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?
A)Photography, because I can show some kind of reality, my own reality.
Q) What is your favourite art related web site?
Q) Is your work all hand done? Or do you use any computer tools to help out?
A)Off cource I use the computer to make my photo-collages, but the collages are made by hand, I mean, I don’t let the software make the artistic decisions, I do that, it is the same as using the sissors and glue, only digitally.
Q) What, in your opinion, are the best and worst places to exhibit artwork?
A)The best is a important Art Fair, like Art Basel, many people get to see your work than.
The worst is in places were very few people come to see.
Q) I'm always interested in where an artist find their inspiration. Where do you find yours?
A)All most everywere, mostly in nature, but also in streets, at places were there are lots of things to see.
Q) How are the reactions on your work in general?
A)The reactions are very positive, people really like my work, it touches them and I am proud of that.
Q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?
A)Meeting people, travalling, visiting exhibitions, riding my bicycle, enjoying life!
Q)What are some of the greatest challenges that you think artists face today?
A)I suppose to make Art that is interesting for a large group od people instead of just a small art-related group.
Q) Do you believe that a person is born with a talent to produce art or can anyone can be taught?
A)I think anyone can find his own way to make Art, it is not only talent that you need, you also have to have a strong will to get there, you have to be very determined and you have to have a need for recognition.
Q) Are there any particular works you've done that stand out as your favorites?
A)My own favorite works at the moment are World 1, World 7, and World 17.
Q) What are some current/upcoming projects you are working on or excited about?
A)I have just started to do some sculptures, this is very exciting for me, because I love scultures, and now I can realize my own idea’s in Bronze.
Q) What advice would you give to younger up and coming artist?
A) It takes a long time to become a good artist so take your time, don’t look for success but experiment as much as possible and find your own way.
Q) Who are your favourite artists & Your favourite galleries?
A)There are so many, Maurizio Cattelan, Kiki Smith, Joseph Cornell, Henk Visch, Hans Peter Feldmann, Erick Swenson, Cindy Sherman, Diane Arbus, Bill Viola, Milan Kunc, etc, etc.
I have no favourite gallery’s
Q) Do you need others to tell you they like it before you feel validated?
A)No, most of the time I know what I want to make, and I know if it succeeded, I don’t need others to tell me that, I am surprised sometimes by the strong reactions I get to one specific work that I did which was not really my own favourite.
Q)Tell us a little about some of the different types of jobs you've had over the years, before/while doing what you do now. For someone who is starting out in art, how would you recommend they go about making a career out of it?
A)I did a lot of design work before I started as an Artist, graphic design and interiour design, some movie-design, because I liked to do it, but in the end I found out I needed more freedom of expression, so than I stopped most of my jobs. This is when I first became really succesfull so I quess I didn’t make a bad choice. For a career in Art you first must be able to make your own personal Art, and than you need a good gallery that shows you in a lot of Art Fairs, and if possible, on Art Fairs all over the world, so people get to see your work, than things will happen, you will find out soon if your work is good or not, It can be very stimulating and learnfull.