‘I see myself as a student of Mokum’
Kik Zeiler was born in 1948 in Soerabaja and is an autodidact. He always liked drawing and he studied art history in Groningen. In 1971 Zeiler moved in to a room above Gallery Mokum. The artist learned his techniques by looking at and reading about artworks.
Strong realism is characteristic for Zeiler’s way of painting. He depositions himself from abstract art, for him abstract art is a black page of art history. This believe has a strong influence on his work. Zeiler started painting within the sphere of influence of Gallery Mokum. Besides living above the gallery he also helped out in the gallery. He was happy with the influence that Mokum had on him.
Zeiler paints portraits, also commissioned. Characteristic for his work is the rich detailing and material expression. Most of the time the stillness and the intensification of the human is the central theme to his work. The paintings of Zeiler show the world in the way he sees it.
‘My painting technique is nothing special, it’s a layering technique that has been used for centuries. With the bottom layers I work on the light and dark proportions. And with the upper layers I try to show this in colour, expression and atmosphere: the skin of the painting, the skin of imagination.’
‘The making of a painting can be very tiresome. I get less and less free. You get cought in the canvas, with the result that the attention of the spectator also gets cought. De most important factor is the belief in the inner image. I’m able to show that image with my technique and content, with that i’m happy. But I sometimes I wish that I could work faster. I see it as my task to paint the world. That’s why I try to paint a lot of things besides portraits. Parts of the city, figures in a certain setting… Maybe critics think that I paint people in a too simple way. I find it hard to judge if my portraits have a lot of expression or not, if they are dreamy or down to earth.’