Honest Art: Wulf Hendriks about his clean and graphic paintings

Honest Art: Wulf Hendriks about his clean and graphic paintings

Feb 29, 2012 |  by  |  Art
About the author
Joris likes to listen and play with music and has a broad interest in people and their creative outbursts.

When is a piece of work qualified as art? What does it take to be an artist? In my opinion, art is art when you think it is. In this series of interviews, artists display their best work irrespective of their status, age and their curriculum vitae.

Wulf Hendriks

I start this series with Wulf Hendriks, a twenty-one year old Amsterdam based artist who started painting because there were no other options. “I started painting because it’s the only thing I wanted to do. After the first year of the graphic design academy I got so fed up with drawing between the lines; I had to be more creative. That’s why I went to the ‘free arts academy’ in Amsterdam.”

Wulf mainly uses acrylic paint on canvas and combines that with spray-paint. He also makes collages and prints and cuts images of the internet. “As time goes by, my pallet of techniques broadened.” The persons you see in the pictures are random images from the internet, but shaped in a way that no one can recognize themselves in them. The other images are collages made in Photoshop.

Although his favourite piece is always the next project he has in mind, Wulf chose the image above this paragraph as his best work so far. “I chose this painting of the men with blue eyes because it turned out to be the most precise. It’s the one I bungled the least with. Usually I get more and more unsatisfied the longer I work on a piece.”

What I make is who I am

With his art Wulf seems to strive to complement his personality. “What I make is who I am, but what I do as a person is opposite of what I like as an artist.” Wulf as a person is a bit messy, a bit lazy and likes a laugh. His art on the other hand is graphic, clean and precise. The jokes are still there though, as there’s a cynical touch in a lot of his work.

Talking about inspiration, he says it comes from within himself, out of life and images that cross his way. “I’m happy that my inspiration only bubbles up now and then; I just have to wait for it. Sadly sometimes it takes a bit long, that’s when I have a less productive period.”

The symbolic meaning of his work is still undefined. For instance the collage of the angry dog at the mosque to me looked like a referral to the current political and social tensions between cultures. Wulf said he never thought of that before. “Maybe that makes sense somewhere deep inside me. Every time I make something I learn more about myself. The more I make, the more I grow. I believe there’s a reason behind my work and if I know why I do and like something I can add more dimension to my work.”


Wulf’s intention with his work is to satisfy himself and the people who watch it. His dreams are of a big exhibition and to make a living out of his art. Right now they are both difficult to accomplish because he doesn’t get to paint as much as he should. “Al the external factors have to be perfect to make it work. When I have more money and a new house I have total freedom to focus on my creativity.”

Although Wulf is very confident in his opinions and his mission, he still doubts himself a lot. “If people liked everything what I do, if had made enough good work, and if it all worked out. I could have been further then I am right now. Doubt is good because it pushes you to get the best out of yourself. But it’s also difficult because you won’t get answers to your questions straight away. I have to dive into the process!”

Check out Wulf’s website here!

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