Jim and Angel: Two artists – One Canvas
Hi, my name is Pam and I’m studying Arts & Economics. I did some interviews with the artists from accessART as part of my studies. This last interview was with Jim and Angel van Overbeek.
In 2016, the combined works of Dutch artists Jim and Angel really took off. Inspired by nature, popart and streetart, both artists work together on one canvas or object. The exchange between two creatives is bound to produce innovative art.
Meet Jim and Angel
It’s interesting to see how Jim and Angel grew up with art. As Jim explains: “I think we both were enthusiastic about art from a very young age. Creativity was always a part of our life as kids. I remember one day my mother gave me a box of coloured pencils and that was a big treasure for me. From that day on, I was drawing all the time. Angel adds: “Same story here. My father one time showed up with some canvases and paint tubes. My drawing and painting abilities have developed in a natural way, giving me the ability to explore different styles. Our first exhibition with our individual paintings made me realize that this was what I wanted to do!”
We continue by digging a bit deeper in Jim’s career as an artist. Jim is a graphic designer and artist, living and working in Nijmegen, the oldest city in The Netherlands. In the early eighties, he studied Art & Design in Amsterdam and at the same time he was active as a sportsman. He was traveling the world with his bicycle and competing in races. At some point, he even was the Dutch National Mountainbike Champion!
It was hard work combining sports and art, but it paid off: his artworks were shown at exhibitions and sold to collectors and companies worldwide. He remembers: “back in the eighties, I showed one of my works to a gallery in Amsterdam. The gallery owner placed it in his shop window and it was sold right away. At that moment, I felt I was on the right track.”
His art career started with big realistic mixed-media (sport)paintings, but later on he broadened his range with work in new styles. In 1990, he met well-known Japanese artist Hajime Kato, who lived and worked in Paris. Kato encouraged him to experiment with styles and materials. During those years, Jim created art for companies like Nike, O’Neill, Raleigh, Scania, events like the ABN AMRO Bank World Tennis Tournament, the Nijmegen 4-Day Marches and the World Championships Cycling, but also for DJ Tiësto, three times number one DJ in the World.
Angel is Jim’s wife and an artist as well. But, she has a very different background. She studied gold- and silver welding. This explains why you find a lot of gold and silver elements in her artwork. Angel started with realistic paintings, but was influenced by her uncle Cornelis van den Broek. He was a skilled artist who was living in the south of France. As a result, you could see abstract elements entering her work.
In the past, she helped Jim with several artprojects, like for instance the creation of murals. Working together as an artistic duo was a great idea and a nice challenge: ”We are thrilled that it turned out really well”.
Jim and Angel about Inspiration
Angel: “If you look at our work, you see a lot of elements from the world around us. The most important elements that inspire us are nature, popart and streetart. Through my work I want to give nature a face. I create energetic backgrounds in several layers. They are combined with Jim’s transparant images in bold lines. We mainly work in acrylic with gold, silver, bronze paint and laquer on canvas, wood and objects”.
I ask her to tell me more, but “the exact technique is our secret, so we can’t tell you that”, she says with a smile. “Also, the way we work can be different from time to time; first my layers and then Jim’s layers, vice versa or mixed”.
Angel continues: “We both work very concentrated, just wanting to create the best result possible. Working in the morning, afternoon or everning doesn’t matter that much. If the feeling and focus is there, we’ll go for it. Music is always an important part of the process. If we are creating and our favorite music is on, we’re completely in a bubble, fully focused and working intuitive.”
Jim: “I like warm, vibrant colours, upbeat designs and hard-edged compositions. We did some series with images of women, but it also could be a mix of people, sports, buildings, landscapes, objects and much more. Light, colour and motion; a view through the prism of nature and culture.
Two artists – one canvas. The Collaboration
Two artists working together is more common in the streetart-scene than in the contemporary art scene, but we like the concept a lot. It’s not like we stop working as an individual, but if we work together we can complement our individual talents to create great works of art. We stay creatively engaged all the time, in search for new frontiers and developing our own language. The process of working together is a challenge. We are two artists who think different of course and you have to make it work in one single piece of art!”
Highlights in an art career
I asked Jim and Angel a question that always provides great answers :-). The question: If you could put your work in any museum of the world, what would it be?
Angel: “Some years ago, we visited an exhibition of pop artist Andy Warhol in the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada. Housed in a neoclassical building, it’s the largest public art museum in Western Canada. Vancouver is a special town because of its location. On one side you have the Pacific Ocean and on the other side the Rocky Mountains. The town has a special link with nature, so the Vancouver Art Gallery would definitively be a great place!”
Then, we move on to the highlights in their art career. Jim had several highlights. “In the past, I was the official artist of the ABN AMRO Bank World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, the Nijmegen 4-Day Marches and the World Championships Cycling, also in The Netherlands. To see your artwork on big screens, cars, banners, limited series of silkscreen prints and clothing is quite something.”
Angel adds to this: “At the Affordable Art Fair 2016 in Amsterdam, our agent accessART surprised us with a beautiful spot for two of our JIM & ANGEL paintings. When people entered the venue, they noticed them right away. However, the real hightlight of our combined work is yet to come!”
Jim and Angel & accessART
Jim and Angel are super enthusiastic about accessART! They tell me: “Good art agents are to be treasured! We really are impressed with the way accessART works and they have enthusiastic staff, personal assistance, clear communications and great support throughout the purchase and delivery process. Always looking for ways to improve the presentation of their artists and their work. In short: professionals! It helps us to concentrate more on our art projects and that is saving a lot of time.”
Photo Credits: Eva van Overbeek