'Raam Maar' window exhibition initiative by alumnus Jip Piet

9 May 2020

Part of a series of interviews with KABK alumni, highlighting their creative initiatives in times of Corona.

This time we talk to alumnus Jip Piet. Jip graduated in Fine Arts in 2015. Nowadays he illustrates for among others: de Volkskrant and De Correspondent next to this he has his own art practice where he focusses on his autonomous drawing practice and performance art.

Since a couple of weeks ago, Jip started ‘Raam Maar’ (best translated as ‘window but’) a series of drawing exhibitions that each time last one week, starting in Rotterdam and then moving to Utrecht. He kicked off this new project with his own portrait series ‘Vieze Gluiperds’. We’d like to know more about this and ask Jip...

How are you doing now that we are all in quarantine?

As an artist, I'm used to isolating myself a bit, but I still miss the social aspect of life, though. I used to be on the train at least three times a week on my way to whatever! I also see benefits, for example, you learn to appreciate the people who are close to you better. I moved to Rotterdam in November and I have a nice studio here where I can vent my frustrations and prevent myself from boredom.

Do the Corona measures have much effect on your work?

The Corona measures have made quite an impact on me personally. I was going to do a festival tour all summer with my performance act. Together with Pizza Bombari I would host a performance stage on a pizza truck where I would take care of the decor and programming. Suddenly my first performance at the Kapitaal stage during the Grasnapolsky festival was immediately also the last.

During the first few days of quarantine, I’ve shouted a lot at my plants, but soon I thought, what is the basis of my artistry? 'Pen and paper' So I'm drawing like crazy again. Something I had lost sight of because of the hectic pace of everyday life. This resulted in a series of portraits of world leaders and crooks: ‘Vieze Gluiperds’ which would translate best to ‘dirty bastards’.

For the series "Vieze Gluiperds" you also work on demand, do you do that consciously to create interaction in these times?

Initially, the series ‘Vieze Gluiperds’ was intended purely for myself as a drawing exercise. I draw the portraits directly with a fountain pen on paper without first sketching. This gives the person depicted a very strange ugly head matching their corrupt personality. I noticed that sitting behind the drawing board alone is more fun when there is some online interaction.

Via my Instagram account, I asked the question 'Which ugly creep should I draw next? I got a lot of reactions to this. That made it more fun to continue the series. The Volkshotel in Amsterdam shared the ‘Vieze Gluiperd’-series on their Instagram page and there will be a series of drawings of 34 sneaky musicians on the walls of Paradiso Amsterdam. You can also have your grandmother or one of your sneaky idols drawn by me for a small price.

Raam Maar logo
Raam Maar logo

Who or what inspired you to start Raam Maar?

I saw a number of entrepreneurs come up with alternatives for their closed restaurants very soon after the corona measures hit. Old Scuola, a pizzeria in Rotterdam, started home delivery the same night they heard they had to close. My friends at Café Van Zanten in Amersfoort came up with a kind of alternative drive through to keep their café running. This all went very well if you ask me.

Sitting behind my drawing table I suddenly saw a lot more people passing by in front of my studio window. Since I was making a series of drawings anyway, the step to a window presentation was a very small one. I noticed many other artists picking up on drawing again too. Many of them have more time on their hands because their part time jobs were cancelled. The first one I asked to join the window expo was Lisa Blaauwbroek. She is also a KABK alumni and lives in the same neighbourhood as I do.

Raam Maar invites several artists to present 7 days of work, the proceeds go entirely to the artist. How do you decide who is allowed to exhibit?

We ask the artists to present a series of 9 A5 works. The series are drawn especially for that week. After one week of exhibiting in Rotterdam, the exhibition will move to Utrecht. There are plans for a window in Amsterdam, although the latter could still take a while..

Last week we launched an OPEN CALL to give artists the opportunity to submit a proposal. The only criteria is that you have to present drawings, I personally think that this should be seen in a broad sense. You could make a digital drawing or, for example, drawings in textiles.

Raam Maar expo example
Raam Maar expo setup

What would make Raam Maar an ultimate success for you?

Raam Maar asks 0% commission so 100% of the profit goes to the artists. I think it would be an ultimate success if we could sell out every show and provide all the artists a good source of income. I would also love it if, as soon as the corona crisis is over, we can grow into a fully-fledged artists' institute, so that we can continue to support artists.

Lisa Blaauwbroek, Willem de Haan, Roy Vastebroek, Simon Oosterhuis and I have already exhibited and there are quite a few names on the planning at the moment: Cedric ter Bals, Alexandra Martens, Ewoud van Rijn, Jeroen Kuster, Machteld Rullens, Sophie Steengracht, Gijsje Heemskerk, Joost Elschot, Elsemrijn Bruys and Marjolein Schalk. There are also Open Call requests coming in from Mexico City, Berlin and London so I'm curious to see what beautiful things are about to happen.

Thanks Jip! Good luck developing Raam Maar!

Cedric ter Bals, Raam Maar

On view until 15 May at Stadhoudersplein 22A, Rotterdam

Cedric ter Bals - Raam Maar
Cedric ter Bals - Mechanismuskellektor, Stadhoudersplein 22A, Rotterdam (until 15 May 2020)
Cedric ter Bals, Raam Maar
Cedric ter Bals
Cedric ter Bals - Raam Maar
Cedric ter Bals - Mechanismuskellektor

Keep an eye on Jip and his windows via Instagram, Facebook and the Raam Maar website.

You can of course visit a Raam Maar expo in
Rotterdam: Stadhoudersplein 22A or Utrecht: Egelantierstraat 26.