Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Fer Hakkaart – De absurde werkelijkheid

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I am a painter. -A painter?

An artist.

I paint people who are enjoying themselves while not doing anything special.

Nice. That's really nice.

This one too. Right?

Now I've turned on two lights. Maybe it's too much.

This is all still preliminary work. So I'm still searching a bit here.

I like to observe people's reactions. These people are on a merry-go-round.

That's what it looks like anyway. And they're having a wonderful time.

They're just ordinary people. They may be in their Sunday best...

...but they're having so much fun.

This is behind the HEMA store. And this is in the same street.

The view doesn't exist anymore, it's been boarded up.

Behind the Caeciliastraat there used to be a community...

...a backstreet neighbourhood really, but I just loved it there.

I even went on to produce etches of locals sitting outside.

Nobody would sit outside back then, except these backstreet people, taking the sun.

Can I take it off now?

These are beautifully made mannequins.

This cold shiny quality, it's a real challenge to recreate it.

The greatest moment is after he has removed that cover.

That's what I try to paint then.

I like to think that this is a lady from Leiden.

I had a strong fascination for this as a child.

Is this really what hell looks like?

This scene closely reflected the things We were be told at school and in church.

It's quite a horrendous affair.

I just love the way they're smiling.

It's painted quite brilliantly.

The common folk do things we wouldn't engage in normally.

I find that really interesting myself, these ordinary people.

This is sheer boredom we're looking at. The man is collecting flies in a jar.

They're doing this together. They are really into it, both having a good time.

Swatting flies, putting them in a jar.

They're not actually communicating. They don't seem to enjoy it.

They're not talking to each other. They're both engaged in a macabre act.

Their facial expressions look pretty normal, his at least...

...but there is an element of menace in her gaze.

And these two are working together, doing something pretty weird.

The Rex Theatre used to be on the Haarlemmerstraat.

A cinema that would mostly feature soft porn films.

I would look for people watching the photos, which I was afraid to do.

But I chose to conjure up a rather sad, pathetic scene.

With this lady collecting tickets all day.

Looks rather sad, doesn't it?

Wonderful. This was at the 3rd of October celebrations, a long time ago.

Crowds would be gathering at the local chip shop.

She's smoking a cigarette. Here she lights it. You can see the lighter.

What I truly find interesting are these ordinary characters. I do.

This is, well... -Why?

They're coming out of their shell. They're less afraid to speak out.

No longer keeping their own counsel.

Here we have the tormented painter.

When painting, you're completely wrapped up in what you're doing.

You'll run into all sorts of problems. This is going wrong, this isn't working.

So you're always busy improving things.

We met each other by coincidence.

Here we are. He was working on the cover at the time.

He painted this in a particularly loose style. I love this one.

He was very much searching at the time.

And he allowed himself the freedom to experiment.

He had been divorced, and so had I. A lot of that was happening at the time.

A love couple, that's the title.

I've grown very fond of this painting and the story behind it.

On the one hand, they're in this dream-like state, experiencing the love for each other.

But then again he has his eyes open...

his gaze turned away from her, not communicating with her.

I'm actually a lonely person, and sure, I'm happy to be with her now.

Which is all wonderful. But I'm not quite there...

other things are going through my mind. I don't know if I love you.

I share his fascination for day-to-day life, I love observing that too.

Yet there is always something special about it, some intriguing element.

Something macabre even.

If people understand what I try to do here...

...that makes me very happy. I'll be like: here is someone who actually sees it.

He lives on the Haarlemmerstraat, he loves the people there.

He observes them, while taking a step back.

There is also something menacing about it.

When engaging with his subject matter, he experiences feelings close to anxiety.

Or suspicion. These people may well decide to hit you in the head.

You can take the pink ball. -Underhand throw this time, please.

Oh dear. Oh no.

It's okay if you're not really trying, but don't make it too obvious.

Do you have this in white too? You do, right?

The Description of Fer Hakkaart – De absurde werkelijkheid