Hello Ruud, please tell us what you do
My name is Ruud de Kort and I am based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I studied at international art institute De Ateliers in Amsterdam, at Art academy in Maastricht and at Konstfack in Stockholm. I graduated as a sculptor but slowly I moved to painting. Maybe because of this, I always treat my work as an object instead of a painting or drawing.
When did you start to feel that art is your thing?
As a kid I discovered that I really loved drawing and I wanted to become a graphic designer. But when I was about 17 or 18 years old, I wanted to become an artist. I started to make art because I wanted to make something that could question our social and political surroundings, or just our daily lives in general. I believe good art leads to reflection in many different ways about what we are doing on a social, political and cultural level. The power of good art is that it leads us to questioning things and not taking things for granted.
What fascinates you about minimalist art?
I am interested in simple, authentic and pure techniques, because they do not lead to anecdote or distortion. I want to come to the essence of my work, so I prefer formal reduction. This way of pure and clean painting brings a deep concentration that enables you to go into an almost divine, celestial depth. At the same time, I have discovered that, for me personally, minimalism has the biggest potential to make bold and clear statements.
Do you work full time?
I also work as an art handler and I build art shows in different museums and galleries in the Netherlands.
What does a normal working day look like?
I start early in the day. The mornings are really good to do practical work. For the creative process I use the late afternoons. Around this time, my brain has slowed down and I can focus better on creative decisions. This is the time when ideas for new work arise. I always play music in my studio, that is an very important part of my concentration. During work I listen a lot to electronic drone / ambient music.
Which artists inspire you?
Artists that I like are Donald Judd, Bob Bonies, Elsworth Kelly and Alan Uglow. Judd and Bonies for their concepts and their bold approach without compromise. I find this kind of attitude very inspiring. Alan Uglow I love for his esthetics. But I feel inspired by a lot of artists. Just because they decided to be dedicated to make art. It helps me to know they are facing the same artistic and practical difficulties as me. Making art is not easy and takes a lot out of you!
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am working on the idea of realizing murals.
Do you lack motivation from time to time?
I feel a strong intrinsic motivation that pushes me to go as far as I can, on an creative level. Very often I actually have to tell myself to stop working.
Which of your works is your favorite?
My graduation piece from 1996 was very important to me. I filled a room full of car tires that I painted high gloss green. This piece, together with the guidance of one special teacher really opened some doors in my mind that I still use today.
Do you exhibit with art galleries sometimes?
I have had various shows in galleries and art spaces. I am part of an artist run cultural place in Amsterdam where I used to organize art shows with other artists.
Many thanks, Ruud.
Ruud de Kort ★ Artist resume
Ruud de Kort (Netherlands, 1972) works in Amsterdam and trained at De Ateliers in Amsterdam, the academy of visual arts in Maastricht and Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition to paintings and works on paper, installations and murals are part of the oeuvre. Ruud de Kort’s work has been shown internationally with exhibitions in the Netherlands, England and Sweden.