Photo: Martijn den Ouden

The mind is constantly roaring

Wolf Hekkema was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1999. During his childhood, he drew many hours a day as a way to process difficult situations and feelings, which he encountered often. It was only in his teenage years that he started applying paint onto canvas, which at first he thought was messy and smeary. In 2018 he applied for the Bachelor Art History at the University of Amsterdam and in 2020 for the minor Conservation and Restoration of the Cultural Heritage. In the same year, he participated in the tv-programme and painting competition Project Rembrandt, which he won and his final work was exhibited in the Rijksmuseum. In 2021 he was involved in a subsidized project revolving around the interviewing of artists all around the Netherlands, and taking a closer look inside their working space. He made a re-appearance on television as one of the three artists in Sterren op het Doek (S14E1). He currently works as an independent artist and painting teacher in Amsterdam. 

For the past few years, Wolf has employed a self-conceived technique that specifically uses the transparent properties of oil paint to manufacture his art. He works extremely thinly on a white ground canvas, rubbing paint into it little by little. The result is a transparent, grainy image that possesses a certain lightness. His subjects, however, are often heavier – Wolf went back to the process of visualizing difficult feelings and thoughts that come to him and others daily. The psychological aspects in his work are obvious – both people and animals with human-like features are distorted and surrounded by a swirling of forms. His motto is “the mind is constantly roaring”.

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