Wendela de Vries
‘Creating graphic art, specifically lithography, is losing yourself in a strange world of experimenting on the stone – almost alchemy. It is ‘slow art’, because there are many traditional, physical steps, like printing, but also the hushed moment of drawing on the stone or the murmurous rustling sound of sharpening. It is precisely that variation that attracts me to making graphic art, just like the contact with other graphic artists in the print studio, and sharing knowledge and experience.
My work is always figurative and sometimes activist. Since the academy I have had an affinity with drawing nudes; their power of expression continues to fascinate me. I enjoy drawing women, but am increasingly aware of the male gaze. How do I relate to that, as female artist?
And is it up to me to depict people of color, and if so, in which context?
In my work I often reflect on my youth in various tropical countries (Dutch New Guinea, Surinam and Bonaire). I am critical about the role of the Netherlands as colonizer, but also have warm and colorful memories of my childhood in the tropics, alternated with my birthplace, Twente.’
Wendela de Vries graduated from the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Kampen in 1985, with a major in graphic art (lithography and silkscreen).
She was a member of Grafisch Collectief Thoets in Amsterdam for seven years and is member of ‘De Acht Grafici’.
At Basement Press, Wendela is a member of a working group and think tank and is active as artist and teacher at the print studio. She lives and works in Diepenheim and Amsterdam.