Ronald Van Merkesteijn


Ronald Van Merkesteijn was born on 04-05-1960 in Schagen. He studied at the Rietveld and VL-VU, Amsterdam art school, and then set up his artist career in Amsterdam. Soon he got to the conclusion that the art gallery scene was not his thing. Especially international galleries business he experienced as an artificial, money focused subculture similar to the salons of early 20th century art period. This was a reason to separated himself from that world and go his own way. For a period of 10 years he worked as a freelancer for the Graphic Media Development Centre (SDU governmental publishing house) in The Hague and for long periods in countries such as: Bangladesh, Uganda, Colombia, Tanzania, Zambia, Maldives etc… During these overseas experiences, he worked closely with local designers, illustrators and artists on projects that often had a social, educational, sociopolitical issue. These trips are somehow always managed by his work. In that period he was more painting in the background and more concerned with illustration and design for various publishers and non-lucrative organizations, focused on educational publications for Dutch School Radio, Publisher Zorn and various educational institutions. After a turbulent period, he went back into the brushwork in which his interest in psychology will gradually came to the surface. His brushwork is primarily about inner turmoil and his immediate environment. He also puts on canvas his dissatisfaction and obstacles that are visually indicated by the “picnics déjeuner sur l’herbe”, “fences”, “in-and outside drawings”, the “im krankenhouse” series. His landscapes works are more therapeutic for him and create moments of peace and relaxation for him. His creations are increasingly a reflection of himself and of what he sees around him. His resistance to the Gallery scene continues to exist today, but at times he allows his work to be exhibited in spaces that trick honor him. The last exhibition of his work was in 2013 in the Peter Klashorst Gallery and Kasbank during the 3 day Festival Gespuis in the Spuistraat Amsterdam. In August this 2014, there will be a large exhibition of his work in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is part of a larger art and social project that he is performing together with Martijn Crowe from June 15, 2014.

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