Pictures of the vernissage in Le Noirmont

The vernissage of the Cantonale Berne-Jura 2018 was today, in the old church of le Noirmont, that is the exhibition space of contemporary art organisation La Nef. It is a beautiful space.

There were plenty people, a little over a hundred during the whole vernissage, it was whispered. The atmosphere was what Dutch would call “gezellig” a mix of art lovers of all ages and their kids running through it all as the rain lashed the windows of the old church.

The vernissage took about two hours, after which the wine was gone and therefore the people also headed back home through the storm. It looks like the Jura will see some snow tonight!


Cantonale Berne-Jura to exhibit my work

After a long holiday I came home to the letter of the “Cantonale” announcing that one of my works has been selected to be shown in this years’ Cantonale Exhibition.

Born out of the traditional end of year exhibit, the Cantonale has grown into an organisation of nine exhibition spaces and organisations within the two cantons -say, provinces, but Swiss style- of Bern and Jura that strives to present a yearly overview of the modern art scene of these cantons.

Artists that live and work in these cantons are invited to submit their work, and from these submissions, works are chosen by the exhibition centres themselves. Turns out, the beautiful old church “La Nef” in Le Noirmont, Jura, has chosen to exhibit my work!

The exhibition will run from the 9th of december till the 20th of january. The vernissage will be on sunday the 9th, and of course I will be there!

I have a feeling my work will do well on the walls of that old church.



La Nef l’art contemporain:

Cantonale Berne Jura:

A midsummernight's vernissage

Last weekend, my exhibit opened in galerie le Caveau in beautiful Saint Ursanne. The gallery is a medieval cellar, half above ground, with thick walls and small windows -a godsent, with the heat of the past days- and my work 'works' quite well in these rooms, I find. I am pleased with how it all turned out. For as much as I can be pleased with my own work. Friends and family convened for the opening, bubbly was bubbling, words were spoken, art was watched. And yes, I love to see people watching my art intently. It nearly makes me shy. Nearly. 

The exhibit is still open till the 12th of august -and there will be a finissage then- from thursday till sunday from 14;00 hours till 18:00 hours. So you can go to Saint Ursanne to see the cloister, the church, the medieaval town, my art, then take a dip in the river Doubs to cool off, and in the evening maybe still go see a performance from the "Piano à St Ursanne" event, which has many an interesting piece scheduled here. 

 For more information on the piano festival:



I quote:

"The series themselves, the Europeans, the Hannah Arendts, the Monkey Kings, are, besides inspired on the intentions as stated above, also long term experiments all of their own. The stories of (hu)man, the idea of -European, western, white- identity are a strong starting point for these series, but after I have started the work, they become inspirations of themselves, a guide to how to abstract a basically realistic portrait, how to bring out of the same face multiple things that all ring true for that story, that idea, the person this face is said to have been. I will never go truly abstract, as that cannot hold my interest for long, but I want to break the shackels of realism, bring the work beyond that. After a while, it is the forms and colours that dictate how I will develop the work, not the ideas about story and identity, European-ness and humanness, or how these tie into, or are mirrored by, stories of chineseness or otherness. ( I do not think Machiavelli’s thoughts on power would have been strange in the Chinese context of any era. Or anywhere else on the world, for that matter. His words on the uses of power over a society are for me a token of how humans are similar all over the globe, and throughout time. I only think that the current communist party of China might have had Machiavelli bow his head in respect. Or at least, he would in the vision that I have of him, which is a vision coloured by the European story that has been woven around the person of Machiavelli and his conscious or unconscious followers - like Catherina de Medici, for instance)

In my latest finished work, Machiavelli comes together with Catharina de Medici, stars of European power at the cusp of enlightenment, this era that is thought of as being so very singularely and definitively European, wielding a greek helmet amidst the confusion that the adagium ‘There is no alternative’  illicits. Is this Europe? Is there no alternative? Is it European to think there is but one way? Is this enlightenment? Is this how you handle heretics of doctrine? Is this our story? Is this power? Is this what we want to be? Is this fleeting? "



On to New York!

So, part of the artist's practice is crating that stuff and sending it overseas, filling in customs forms (Yes, I am the maker of this work, no I worked alone it is mine only, yes I want to export, re-import and be excempt from vat taxes thank you, I will sign here and here and here and here and here and all that in three copies......)


But they are on their way now, in three layers of bubble wrap and snugly sandwiched in between styrofoam. The opening will be the 14th of June in the Onishi Project gallery!


February in Milan, june in New York.

I am very happy to announce that three Hannah Arendts will grace a group show in Milan, in the MyMicrogallery from 8th of february till the 21st of february. The opening will be on the 8th, from 18:30 till 21:00

I hope to be there as well, so if any of you just happens to pass by Milan, there will be Italian wine a-waiting.

 This one will surely be there.

This one will surely be there.

And then to make it all sweeter, three paintings of mine, two Catharina's and one Machiavelli, will travel to New York to show themselves in the Onishi Project gallery in Chelsea, at the Summer Group show II that will run from the 14th of June till the 27th of June. I like June. June is a good month. Pass on the word!

Summer exhibit of my works in Saint Ursanne, Switserland

Exciting news!

In the coming summer of 2018 the galerie "le Caveau" situated in the beautiful old town of Saint Ursanne will host a solo show of my work.

 The old bridge of St Ursanne, built 1728, that leads to the mainly 14th century town. To reach the gallery, cross the bridge, take the first left after the gate, and you will find the medieaval cellar that is the gallery in a small courtyard just behind the town hall. (Image taken from

The old bridge of St Ursanne, built 1728, that leads to the mainly 14th century town. To reach the gallery, cross the bridge, take the first left after the gate, and you will find the medieaval cellar that is the gallery in a small courtyard just behind the town hall. (Image taken from

The opening night will be on saturday the 21st of july, and the exhibition will run until the finissage on saturday the 12th of august.

Saint Ursanne is a beautiful little medieval town in the Jura, close to the Swiss-French border. The galerie is part of the communal cultural organisation "Ursinia" that is promoting the cultural life of the region, offering several exhibition sites as well as an artist in residence program in the valley of the Doubs, the river Saint Ursanne is located on.

 Entry and courtyard of the galerie. Images taken from their website.

Entry and courtyard of the galerie. Images taken from their website.

Legend has it that the name of the town goes back to the irish monk that lived a hermit life here in the 6th century in a cave -that can still be visited- together with a bear. He is said to be the patron saint of people with a stiff neck. (Them caves are drafty!) Later, in the 11th century, a church and monastery were built, which are still there - and also available for exhibits.


I am proud that the members of the board of Ursinia decided to include my work in their programme for 2018 and hope to see you on either the vernissage or finissage of the event, to raise a glass with me and see the works up close and for real.

I am looking very much forward to it!

More exhibits for my work in the coming year are being discussed right now, and hopefully they'll come through as well. I will keep you updated!

See you in the summer!


 The Monkey King arrives at the ball. Indeed, he will be there too.

The Monkey King arrives at the ball. Indeed, he will be there too.

After a long summer

Hello autumn! How are you? Suitably firey yellow I see..

The site got updated with some new drawings, there are new Hannah Arendts, new Monkey Kings and a few Nobodies remembering that uploaded to the site, and some old ones deleted to maintain order and calm.

I uploaded only new drawings -and then only some, there are far more new works but not all fit for my website at this time- as the painting has been going decidedly slowly this summer. I am in between transitions I feel, and searching for ways to make my paintings stronger, but so far, nothing came out on linen strong enough, in my opinion.

The autumn proves to be calm and slow flowing though, and I am getting quite some days in at the studio (four days a week at the moment, which is heaven!) so I expect to be able to proclaim some of the five paintings that are strewn about in my studio as "finished" soon.

Thoughts and words on my work, and because of my work.

...not by me. By the editor of a The Hague artblog. I have lived in that city for 11 years. It is one of those cities that you think you will never like, and then as time progresses, you come to love. And you'll never be able to really define in words, why. Other cities are bigger, cooler, more modern or more old or more photogenetic, but.... this something. Beijing has that too. An unlovable city unless you keep at it, and then suddenly, she wont let go of you.

But enough about cities. This here is about art, published on Villarepubblica on the 11th of april. All in Dutch, and it is a long story, an ode to thinking and smoke and Hannah Arendt, to whom the drawing the author is talking about, and looking at, is dedicated. So here is to thinking. With and without smoke and mirrors.

Tussen einde en begin #23: Marije Bijl


 Hannah Arendt smokes another one, XIII.

Hannah Arendt smokes another one, XIII.


Despite the name of the site, they are not related to "the Saatchi" in London. Or so they say.

They are one of the biggest online art shops out there though, and offer all in service for payment, administration of that payment (which, let's admit, between different countries and tax systems can be a huge pain - in multiple ways) and shipping of the art overseas. So I got onboard.

My work can be found on here.

Prices on the site include the 20% commission they charge (most galleries charge 50% Which, by the way, I do not object to, but that is another story, for another blogpost) plus packaging and shipping. The amount of money that I get from it is the same as what I would charge right here in the studio. For the extra cost, they take over a lot of hassle from both you and me. So if you are overseas, and enamoured with my work, the saatchiart site might be a good option for buying my work.

If you are within the EU however, I think we can then handle it ourselves. Then please shoot me an email through the form available on the 'contact' page. Or pass by in the studio!


The wide, wide internet..

Where one can scroll around and then meet oneself, of eight years ago. Where one can be researching one's own work and then tumble upon an art blog -one that is still active now- that did a feature on you. I didn't know about it. Until now.

No words, just pictures, of old works that were on my site back then. They are quite different from my recent works, less overtly political, though still centered on our human stories, our invented identities.

The blog is called :Drtenge and my works are to be seen on this page.


 One of the first "dangling martyrs" series. One of the most powerful (and disruptive, as recent times have shown) identities any disciple can invent for oneself.

One of the first "dangling martyrs" series. One of the most powerful (and disruptive, as recent times have shown) identities any disciple can invent for oneself.

An update to the site

Six new works were added to the site: You will find three more Catherina's in the 'Europeans" series and three monkeys, proud and colourful, staring at you from your computer screen. You will also find that the Monkey King has completely changed tack, atmosphere and style. He just sprung that on me without warning, and beyond my control. That is so like a true Monkey King, shapeshifter that he is. Go check them out and tell me what you think!

(This here is a Catherina, with a Christmass bell...)