Meet Sarah Neutkens, a successful composer, model and art historian from The Netherlands. Besides composing, she studied Art History and works in a gallery by day time. We asked her to round up on her favorite artist and pieces of art. Check out her selection below.
Cover photo: © Ilja Keijzer
Sarah Neutkens, 21, loves art and music. She adores it so much that she makes a living from it. She fills her days with working in a gallery by day and as a composer by night. After Desert Hearts Co-Founder Marbs, Neutkens rounds up her favorite artists.
Sarah Neutkens: “Rodin is my absolute favourite sculptor and, strangely enough, I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly Rodin evokes in me that no other sculptor does. Everything about his sculptures feels just right: they feel alive, you want to interact with them, feel them, know them. His depiction of the great writer Honoré de Balzac, a real monument to the author, is my all-time favourite sculpture. Balzac looks like an absolute monstrosity, a monolithic ugly giant in a messy robe. Rodin created many studies for his Balzac, and added the robe very late in the process of creating this monument. Beneath the gigantic robe are so many interesting layers! From a fat, naked man with his arms crossed to a depiction of the writer as an old hermit. I can keep looking at this sculpture for ever.”
2. Francis Bacon
SN: “Francis Bacon (no, not the philosopher!), well, where do I start? I can’t particularly say I enjoy looking at his paintings: the torment, the strange pain, that Bacon captures is not at all aesthetically pleasing. Yet I can’t take my eyes of his works. They pull you into a greasy, smokey world that gives you a sense of the sublime: you’re looking at something very violent and gruesome from a safe distance. Bacon really stands out for me, he’s so utterly unique. His papal portraits and self-portraits are totally absurd and genius.”
3. Do Ho Suh
SN: “Do Ho Suh is an artist I studied in detail who keeps fascinating me. His works can be seen as a way to make tangible memories of spaces that are no longer there, confronting the viewer with the fact that you carry memories with you (all your life!) but the exact moment, the exact place, smell, et cetera, will never be the same again, gone forever. This feeling of longing for something that’s no longer there (although it’s there, in your memory), this melancholy feeling of accepting the passing of time, really touches me. The way Suh visualises this in a concrete yet poetic way is astonishing. I find his work Reflection incredibly moving.”
4. Arthur Wesley Dow
SN: “The light! The colours! Dow uses colour so beautifully. In his painting The Destroyer you can really feel the color, feel the light. In some of my own compositions I feel the same atmosphere as Dow creates in his paintings.”
5. Max Ernst
SN: “His works look like they come from the future. Unlike other surrealist painters, I feel Max Ernst tried to capture the essence of what the world would look like in a thousand years from then, instead of painting depictions of fantasies, other worlds. Europe After the Rains I and II, for example, definitely show us our world, but not the way our world is now. I find it incredible that Ernst can paint something so familiar whilst making it feel totally alien at the same time.”
SN: “Another artist with such a marvellously boundless imagination: Panamarenko is a sculptor, an inventor, a dreamer. It is very unfortunate that this incredible Belgian artist passed away in 2019, aged 79. His aircrafts are dream vehicles: I wish I could take a trip with the Aeromodeller!”
7. Egon Schiele
SN: “Schiele’s drawings are both incredibly sensual and kind of frightening at the same time: the figures make you fall in love with them and then turn their backs on you, it almost seems. His Nude of a Woman is beautiful. Schiele has a certain edge to his nudes that Klimt misses, I think. While Klimt’s nudes are alluring, sensual, inviting, Schiele’s nudes look a little distorted and distant.”