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Painter Titus Bovenberg: "Beauty is about feeling life energy"

19 May - 2020
by Femke van Leeuwen

Beauty is not an aesthetic concept for painter Titus Bovenberg; he defines beauty as the moment at which you feel life energy flowing. Chaos, harmony and expressive colours are important ingredients in his daily struggle to bring out that beauty in his work.

With acrylic paint on canvas, panel and cardboard, Bovenberg creates large and small artworks, both abstract and figurative. “Experiencing how suddenly something valuable emerges from virtually nothing is an enormous motivation for me. Making art is about creating magic. The materials used and whether the work is abstract or figurative are side issues”, says Bovenberg.

Career

Bovenberg studied painting and sculpture in Rotterdam and has painted in the Netherlands, Peru and Uruguay ever since. Over the years, he has made hundreds of paintings and a multitude of drawings. He prefers to keep them to himself, but he started to sell to collectors and art lovers worldwide as well.

“There is always this precise moment at which I see that a painting or drawing succeeds. I immediately feel euphoric and in love. I now know that anyone who buys my paintings has a similar experience. That's the only reason for me to share them anyway. Being in love together is even more beautiful than on your own”, Bovenberg explains.

The flowing of life energy

Painting makes Bovenberg feel like the 7-year-old who is playing endlessly on the beach again. Completely free, merging into a magical microcosm where time stands still. That makes creating paintings a necessity for him. Bovenberg: “I know that every person needs contact with the innocent, the wild and the untamed in himself. That's what you can call the undercurrent. There lies the source of all lust for life and life energy. Without it, life lacks richness and depth.”

"Realizing that connection can only be achieved by allowing everything to enter: the light and dark, the beautiful and ugly, the familiar and unknown", Bovenberg continues. Somewhere at the point of balance between those extremes lies the moment when the life energy manifests itself. Bovenberg: “That moment is the event I am looking for and what I perceive as beauty. It is an energy wave that is separate from what we call beautiful or ugly.”

Chaos en harmony

Painting itself is a struggle that balances two extremes, such as chaos and harmony, the monumental and intimate, and the accidental and rational. “Interestingly, it always starts with chaos: disturbance, ugliness, incomprehensibility, scratches and stains. Something has to go wrong for the real painting to start. Too much harmony deprives the life energy, whereas too little means that you no longer experience the harmony as nourishing or it lacks connectedness”, Bovenberg explains.

Expressive colours

Colour is another essential source of energy, which is constantly changing because Bovenberg paints in three different countries. The bright light in the mountains in Peru and the ocean near which Uruguay lies make the colours in Bovenberg’s works do something different than in the Netherlands. The light and atmosphere make the colours change as well as the story they tell.

Bovenberg: “It is addictive to juxtapose colours in different ways, because something happens immediately. Colour is difficult to tame, versatile and expressive. This is in contrast to shapes, for which the ratio plays a more important role; for example you can say ‘this is a circle’ right away. However, colour is about feeling; it connects directly to the undercurrent.” By seeking the balance between extremes and by letting colour play a leading role in it, Bovenberg's works show a timeless beauty.


Interested in the works by Titus Bovenberg? For more information, see his artist’s page.

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