Haute Secrets with Abstract Expressionist, Johannes Boekhoudt

Journalist Artist, Johannes Boekhoudt
Journalist Artist, Johannes Boekhoudt

On Tuesday, July 12th in the lobby of One Arts Plaza in Dallas, artist Johannes Boekhoudt unveiled his latest exhibition entitled “Dialogue: Dialogo.”  The visually, stunning vernissage, produced by HAS Events, highlighted a comprehensive body of work from the artist focusing on his unique ability to utilize the canvas as a medium that transcends both language and culture.

Born on the beautiful Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao and raised in Costa Rica the abstract expressionist launched his career in New York City before making Dallas his home. Inspired by a deep empathy for humanity Boekhoudt’s use of the canvas as a vehicle for social commentary is dramatically depicted in a series of large format paintings in oil, acrylic or mixed media. Consistently, pushing the envelope and raising the standards of social consciousness, his bold approach has given him the opportunity to present his work in exhibitions throughout museums and galleries around the world.

Striving to initiate a pure conversation for the good of all mankind, Boekhoudt’s art gives a voice to the voiceless and harmoniously creates a visual catalyst for change.

Diaolgue: Dialogo will be on exhibit through to August 21, 2106 at One Arts Plaza, 1722 Routh Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

How would you describe yourself as an artist? I am a restless Artist who finds it difficult to be content with myself.

What is it that you would like to convey/communicate with your work? I would like for my work to document and educate the younger generations. My goal is to promote the peace and liberties that we all deserve.

What are your artistic influences? My influences arise from the old Masters such as: Monet, Manet, Pissaro, Picasso, Karel Appel, Miro, Pollock, Willem D’Koning, Basquiat, Torres Garcia, Emilio Vedova.

What are your thoughts on the artistic scene and environment in Dallas? Dallas is a very particular art niche. It is a city that continuously develops and seeks more from the art world. I feel that the migration of new commerce to the city has given rise to diverse art collectors who seek a higher standard of art for their private collections. Dallas has the potential, and promises to be, a central hub for art in the US.

How do you see it evolving? I firmly believe that Dallas will continue to evolve toward further artistic development and modern urbanism.

What is your medium preference? My preferred medium is oil. With oil, I have complete control of what I want to achieve. The pigments and the oil enrich my palette in order to give achieve the finest result on the Canvas.

How would you classify your genre? I am an artist of modern times. I am not categorized as an academic and therefore I don’t fit into a standard stereotype.

What message is it that you aim to convey with your art? I paint our current reality with true responsibility. I utilize the painting to denounce cases of domestic violence, human trafficking, human rights, youth rights, abandonment of the helpless (children and elderly), freedom of expression, irrational violence, women’s rights and the need for diversity of all races.

Who is your favorite artist? Why? I do not have one particular favorite artist. I consider that in each period of our current era, there have been important artists that in one way or another have transformed our way of thinking and redirecting art as such. It is the responsibility of each person to open their eyes and truly see. Learn and divulge a positive message. In this way, we are all favorites, indifferent to whether we agree to this, because we respect the work and all strive to move forward.

Is there a place in the world that inspires you? Not necessarily, I am an artist that needs to be in my own studio to be inspired. I find solace in my studio.  Unfortunately, my source of inspiration comes from social issues that not only affect others, but myself as well. I am a very forthcoming artist who continuously reveals my own fears and demons. I internalize the suffering and then I paint. It is like the bull and the bullfighter. The canvas and I, an Eternal struggle.

Is there a creative medium that you would like to pursue but haven’t yet? If so what is it? Well, I still have not created a large-scale sculpture; however, only time will tell.

Do you do commissioned works? I do not do commissioned works because I do not feel the freedom necessary to create a painting and that generates undue stress.

What would be your dream project? One of my dreams is to place a great artpiece in a great Museum so that the viewer can enjoy it, hopefully someone from the younger generation. I also aspire to participate in the Venice Bienales with a special installation, but that will be a surprise.

Can you describe a single habit that you strongly believe attributes to your success? Perserverance and practice create a Master. It is important to remember where we came from. I have always said, “Only my paintings have the right to fly. I must keep my feet firmly planted on the ground.” We must never forget that we entered this world with nothing and must leave the same way. I cannot take the material with me, only the pleasures of my life and the tranquility that I can leave my works behind for others to enjoy.

What advice would you have given yourself as an emerging artist? As always, the best advice is to be yourself. You may be inspired but never copy. The youth of today only dream of fast fame and fortune. They forget to walk before they run. We thereby lack humility in our work. You must give yourself completely to the canvas. Do not be greedy with your painting because later on you will regret not being generous in spirit. When you are painting, you must honestly give into the canvas and what the painting asks of you. Be part of the painting itself and in this way we can enrich our canvas as well as our spirit.

Any upcoming exhibitions? Whats next on your agenda? The next slated exhibition is for the African American Museum of Dallas in 2017.

At your latest exhibition, entitled dialogue: dialogo do you feel it was a comprehensive representation of your body of works? I think that the works displayed in “Dialogo”  display a gross representation of the evolution of my artwork. The viewer can appreciate and have a clearer understanding of why I utilize crosses. I have been able to show the audience how the construction of the crosses themselves have separated and enable more liberty for the drawing on the canvas. Therefore, “Dialogo” is a small retrospective outlook. The crosses, in one way, allow me to be thankful to my God for the wonderful gift of being able to create art. They also enable me insight into my own spirit and unify me.

Do you view your works as calming or unsettling? Are they meant to be thought provoking; to in fact open up a dialogue. My works are not calming; they contain high energy and movement. Since they address transcendent social issues, this directly relates to the intensity of our thoughts and behaviors. The strong strokes give way to my own frustrations and angers related to the injustice. My work should give rise to criticism whether you like the art piece or not, either way it cannot be ignored. For me, to create a painting without a voice is senseless.

What social ramifications does art have on society? Art has always played a strong role in the different cultures of our world. It has universally been a direct reflection of the political and social era in which it was created. It creates a platform for divulging a message to many with just one image. Art stimulates creativity and drives change. Art creates a dialogue between its message and the impulse of its population. As the city develops, it creates an idea, which in turn generates artistic commentary. They both feed off one another to promote change. As a primary means of communication, we as artists have the complete responsibility to promote a collective conscience.


Johannes’ Haute Secrets

Where were you born: Born in Curacao in the Dutch Antilles

How long have lived in Dallas: In Dallas 4 years

Occupation: Artist

 Favorite Restaurant: Home-cooked meals

Best dessert: Quesillo (Flan dessert from the Antilles)

Best Sunday brunch: At home with my family

Best place for a power business meeting: At my studio

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? They usually stay at my house!

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: Northpark Mall

Favorite Cultural Event: Phantom of the Opera

Favorite Cultural Institution: MOMA

Best Steakhouse: Texas Roadhouse

Best Museum/Exhibit: Reina Sofia Museum in Spain

Describe your city in three words: Expanding, Diverse, Friendly

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: The Grand Canyon

All-around favorite spot in Dallas:  DMA

Best Aspect of Dallas: Multicultural

Best Staycation Spot: Haven’t found one yet