Galerie Fons Welters - Amsterdam

Becoming El Bobo

Anton Chekhov once wrote: “Knowing all and understanding all is only for blockheads and quacks.”

7 September, 2018

Dear gallery visitor,

On behalf of the gallery and myself, with due pride I present to you my new solo exhibition, titled Becoming El Bobo.

The title derives from the work El Bobo (1959) by Pablo Picasso, which I saw as a child in the Museo Picasso in Málaga, Spain. The painting depicts an halfwit with a bottle of liquor in one hand and a pan with fried eggs in the other. ‘El Bobo’ means something like ‘the fool’ or ‘the madman’ in Spanish. To me, this work symbolizes different aspects of my artistry and of life in general. Not only because the bobo is the plaything of his own instincts and desires; this work seemed to me an interesting starting point because of the close relationship to my own name and the fact that you nowadays have to be mad to want to become an artist. But what is the difference between the madman and the others? In contrast to he who is not crazy, the madman solves solutions for the problems he has created for himself. This whole process is even cherished by the madman. In addition, it is not difficult to become el bobo considering everything that is currently happening in the world.

For me, important works in the exhibition are the Fluorescent Chairs and the magnet painting Grammatica die Sprachkunst. The Fluorescent Chairs are two perspex replicas of chairs from my parental home. Sitting in these chairs, I learned to put my ideas into words with family and friends. That is also how I learned the power of dialogue. This dialogue is still the guiding line in my work and results from the need to create something that I haven’t seen or heard before. The painting Grammatica die Sprachkunst is important to me because it shows a new development within my range of magnet paintings. This series can be seen as a personal language that I have developed, in which collages are partly liberated from painting and as such play with the limitation of the flat surface. In my work, the composition is the most important. For example, I chose for a checkered pattern because it looks chaotic at first, while it is actually orderly. To me, the dialectical relationship between order and chaos lies in the creative power of art.

                                                                                                                      Bob Eikelboom

Bob Eikelboom (1991, NL) studied at Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague (2008-2012) and Royal College of Art, London (2015-2017). In 2014 he won the Dutch Royal Award for Modern Painting. His work is currently on view in De meest eigentijdse (the most contemporary picture show), Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht. Eikelboom recently had a three-man show Making Money for my Friends, at the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht. His work is part of the collections of the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht and the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.