Friday, December 16, 2016

Dapper Dan #14/ Opinions & Inspirations contribution

Dapper Dan  #14, 2016/2017, cover

In the summer I was invited to contribute to Dapper Dan's Opinions & Inspirations section for their upcoming issue. I immediately thought of my first series of over-paintings I made when I transitioned from working in the fashion industry towards an autonomous way of working.

The issue just came out. Very happy to see my story and image in print. 
Thank you Dapper Dan!

Michiel Keuper - From the Past Present (Past Presence) series, 2010, ink and acrylic on magazine

My story to the image: 


In October 1989, during my first months in college, I read an interview with neurobiologist and Nobel prize winner Rita Levi-Montalcini, then 80. What resonated with me most was her interpretation of ‘The Choice’ by William Butler Yeats, a poem she quotes in her autobiography;

The intellect of man is forced to choose/ 
Perfection of the life, or of the work,/ 
And if it take the second must refuse/ 
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark./ 
When all that story's finished, what's the news?/ 
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:/ 
That old perplexity an empty purse,/ 
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.

Levi-Montalcini: “Yeats gives you two options. Either you choose perfection in your work, with as a reward recognition but at night remorse. Or you lead a calm and serene life, without success and at the end an empty purse. I’ve always refused to make that choice, with as a result deficiency in my work ánd in my life.” 

In 2009, after studying and working in fashion for 20 years, the meaning of Yeats’ poem became evident to me once again. Being absorbed by working in the industry, I guess I suddenly realized I didn’t want to end up having remorse at night for all the things I’d always wanted to do but never allowed myself time for. Painting was one of those things. 

That first year away from my designer life in overdrive, I started a series of works on paper, initially as research for later paintings, using fashion magazines I had amassed over the years. In the Black Series – Past Present (Past Presence) I erased fashion references from magazine pages. An attempt to re-view my past and to find new access to known sources, to create new images from the old.

- Michiel Keuper, visual composer 

Dapper Dan #14 - Opinions and Inspirations Section, spread Glenn Martens (left), Michiel Keuper (right)

Dapper Dan #14 - Michiel Keuper
contribution Opinions and Inspirations Section

Dapper Dan #14, 2016/2017, cover