Meet Henk de Bouter
Many of you probably don’t know him (yet), but artist Henk de Bouter has been at the top of the Dutch art world for years.
The Rotterdam artist Henk de Bouter grew into a very successful visual artist in a very short time, with his recognizable style.
He made a name for himself early on, even before he went to the art academy in Rotterdam he already had a certain reputation.
His work was noticed early on and included in various publications, including the 100 young Dutch (leading artists) painters published in 1995, 1997/98 (published by Living Art in Amsterdam).
In 1998 his studies at the Willem de Kooning Academy came to an end.
De Bouter immediately got off to a flying start, winning the Buning Brongers prize, an important prize for young talent.
It also immediately provided the recently graduated artist with a nice assignment.
An assignment in the Sophia Children’s Hospital, for the department of neonatology. He redesigned the corridor with the theme “life and technology”.
He made sixteen large wall objects here, later he made another five for the children’s hospital.
One order after another followed. For many of these assignments he used the medium of graphics. He now owns his own screen printing company, where he produces his own screen prints for various institutions and companies for business gifts, among other things.
Business is now going so well that De Bouter works with various studio assistants to ensure that everything runs smoothly, so that he has more time for painting.
Besides the fact that De Bouter publishes work under his own name, he also does this under various pseudonyms. These works have already gone all over the world, from Japan to America.
A multi-talent, although he now mainly wants to focus on work under his own name.
In the beginning he mainly worked through the gallery circuit, which presented him at various places, including the Kunstrai and Art Rotterdam.
Nowadays he does a large part of his sales from his own workshop.
As a result, he enjoys less fame within the art circuit.
However, this does not apply to the art-loving public who know how to find their way to his studio or his internet sites for his work or assignments.
However, due to the large run-up, there is little time left to paint quietly.
So he is now looking for some contact with the art circuit again, so that he can throw himself more into making art.
There are now thousands of works by Henk de Bouter in circulation, from small screen prints to large paintings and objects. You can also see his works popping up in galleries and art dealers more and more often.
His work is now in many collections of companies, private individuals, art lending centers and government institutions. For example, there is currently also a work by him hanging in Dutch parliament room and there is also increasing interest from abroad.
De Bouter belongs to the internet generation, you can find this everywhere in his work.
He is always looking for new technologies that could lead him to create a painting or an object.
The computer age occupies an important place in his works of art. Henk translates these media files and the technology behind them from our digital age.
In this way he tries to add something new to the fast-paced world of technology.
There are different views on the question whether Henk’s reuse of what has become a cliché: enlarging the dots from which a screen is built up and displaying them as an abstract image, can be regarded as part of this.
He is fascinated by how all these graphic components are put together.
Universal language of technology and software – with its graphic signs and symbols – also play a role here. In an underlying layer he incorporates social phenomena associated with the development of this advanced technology. An example is the tidal wave of information that reaches us in all sorts of ways via the media . The purpose of this is often to influence our behaviour.
Our attitude towards these social phenomena is thus radically changed without our being aware of it. By making these connections, Henk de Bouter responds to the current era. He translates, as it were, the shift and modernization caused by the contemporary computer age into his paintings and objects. Furthermore, he patiently experiments with new technical possibilities, with which he can push the boundaries of traditional painting. In short, he has developed a digitized visual language that can be called unique.
He does this with a graphic-like style that is strongly related to pop art or is it itself, which appeals to many people. His choice of subject, in which technology and our living environment always seem to play a role, is also a common thread through his work.