17.05.2016 | Words by: Jasmin Hoek.
The naked lady hanging on the wall in Café DS was painted by Floor von Dülmen Krumpelmann. The first painting depicts a naked girl in a bathtub with a plant just behind it. This painting was sold, so she recently put up a new one: a naked woman in a red boudoir-like setting. I met Floor just in front of her painting to find out more about the story behind her work and the story behind herself.
What is the story behind the first painting?
In 2014 I graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy where I studied Image and Language. It took me 2 months to recharge after I graduated. Out of fear for the famous post-graduation black hole I decided I had to do something: I got myself a studio. The studio was in a garage owned by someone who restored old furniture. He used the garage as storage, so we were surrounded by a lot of odd and beautiful furniture. In that studio is where this painting was made. A lot was changing in my life at the time when I made it and that’s why it’s very different from my other work. I usually work with a more structured plan, but with this project I didn’t have a plan at all. I guess because of that it took me ages to finish and I couldn’t distance myself from it. Then I left it in a closet for a while to let it grow ripe. Until I decided to take it out and put it in a frame for a different exposition some time later. Because the process was so long the painting never felt really finished, until I saw it hanging on the wall here.
What is the story behind the second painting?
The second painting was made around two years later, only a few weeks before it was put up in café DS. The period before I started it, I had made so many black and white crayon drawings that I felt like doing something completely different. I took the biggest sheet that could fit on my drafting table from a big pile of beautiful paper a friend had given to me, and just started painting. Underneath the red layer are two more ground layers of paint that weren’t the right color. I even spent hours working on details that aren’t even visible anymore. Like with the first painting, it didn’t feel finished until it was framed. Framing work also stops me from continuing to retouch it.
How is the second painting different from the first one?
Because of the two-year difference, they feel very different. Especially when I think about where they were made: the first painting was made in my old atelier, which wasn’t the most comfortable place to work, and the second one was made in my current atelier that sometimes feels like my tree house; I can easily spend hour after hour working on the same artwork there. The biggest similarity of these works was the lack of structure in the working process, which as I said, is quite unusual to me. I’m not sure why I painted a naked woman again, probably because it’s a classic theme.
What is your usual working process like?
I take a picture first or use a picture I’ve found somewhere. Sometimes I feel a bit bad about using a picture that’s not mine, but most of the time the picture is unrecognizable by the time I’ve finished the piece. I make a quick sketch of the picture with pencil and go over the sketch with crayon. I always leave the most important part until last, which you could see very clearly in the first painting at café DS; the most important parts, the girl and the plant, were left unfinished. The artworks I graduated with were all made with Conté Crayons. You can’t erase or cover up any of your mistakes with those kinds of crayons. Having to get everything right straight away makes it harder, but also more fun for me. I had a phase right after I graduated when I preferred doing more simple and easy sketches with watercolor and crayons. Those are very relaxing, and almost therapeutic to make.
During what time of the day do you feel the most productive?
I would say in the morning. I get out of bed around 8AM, get ready quickly and have some breakfast before I start working. My studio is located across the hallway from my apartment. The hallway is quite cold, which makes it feel like my home and workspace are separated. By the late afternoon my concentration level gets lower. That’s when I usually go for a walk or stare outside for a while from the armchair in my studio I recently found outside with a friend.
Do you listen to any music while working?
I do, but it changes a lot. I like listening to some of the calmer Resident Advisor podcasts or jazz, Bill Evans for example. As long as it is not too distracting and just takes up just a small part of my brain. It’s comparable to bike riding or doing the dishes; you usually come up with great ideas when you do something almost unconsciously. Right now, I prefer listening to This American Life, a podcasts-series from Chicago on North-American culture. The reporters talk about different problems in society, the news, and fascinating odd stories.
Can you tell me a bit more about a project you are currently working on?
Right now I have a different drawing with a light box exhibited in the Biblical Museum. They have a project going on where 7 young artists reflect on the seven deadly sins. The sin I reflected on was laziness. The light box creates a very strong contrast in the artwork. People look at it for a longer time than the usual 9 seconds, because the light creates some sort of spot that automatically attracts the spectators’ attention. In this case there’s not only a strong contrast in the drawing itself, but the contrast of the old religious works in the room with my piece is extremely strong in itself as well.
So, what is laziness to you?
To me laziness isn’t the obvious kind where you just lay on the couch all day. You know those nights where you go to a party, and then when the party is finished you go to an after party where just stick around for a long time? At some point you are still at the after party denying the fact that a new day has already started. That is what real laziness is to me: denying your responsibilities.