Being an 80s child growing up in the Netherlands I was always striving for something more. Especially in my hometown of Weesp, a pretty place with canals and windmills and so much chocolate consumption that you could pick up diabetes from people coughing. But nobody wanted to explore and see new things. Everybody was happy trimming bushes, feeding ducks, and putting on clogs for passing tourists. I needed to get out.
My chance came in 1988. The Nederlandse Christelijke Radio Vereniging (Dutch Christian Radio Association) had started producing a television game show based around home computer games called “It’s All in the Game”. This was perfect for me because I was an undeniable mastermind at home computer games. My Pa had bought me a Commodore 64 for my 7th birthday and literally within days I had high scores on games such as Arcade Volleyball, Bonecruncher, and Decisive Battles of the American Civil War Volume 1: Bull Run to Chancellorsville. I was both an unstoppable force and an immovable object - I missed 6 weeks of school.
The only problem was that to be on the show you had to be a student of the NCRV. And I wasn’t. Also my Pa was a militant atheist. However my family knew how much this meant to me after I climbed in to our neighbour’s tree house and threatened to throw myself off in to a pile of prickly bushes unless I was on the show. Even back then I was willing to die, or suffer minor injury, for what I believed in. My sister Margo came to the rescue.
Margo was quite a bit older than me, probably something like 15 at the time, I forget, and so she pretended to be a Christian Nun who taught me Sunday School. She called the broadcaster and told them how much I loved the show and what a good little Christian boy I was and begged them to let me appear. I knew I could beat all of those God bothering idiots no problem. After two weeks of endless begging the NCRV finally agreed to allow me on the show.
I don’t think I need to tell you I won. I won. Easily. Everything from Tic Tac Toe to Ninja Hamster, I annihilated the competition like a pro. “It’s All in the Game” had never seen anything like it before. Public school boys openly weeping in to their handkerchiefs. On that day I was Satan to those Jesus freaks. The show was cancelled a month later and all evidence of the series has been wiped from the archives, which is sad, because that show was my first taste of true art.
I believe that “It’s All in the Game” was cancelled because they knew they could never top my success but the NCRV and their lawyers state it was cancelled due to an error in casting. They discovered that my Pa was a militant atheist about 2 hours after I’d been on the show. And the way they found out was certainly brutal. As a prize for winning “It’s All in the Game” I was given a crisp new copy of the Holy Bible, when I returned to the hotel that the NCRV had provided my Pa turned blood red, not even one congratulations before he snatched the Bible out of my hand and began tearing the pages out. Unfortunately he didn’t notice the NCRV representative stood behind me. My prize was rescinded, well, it was destroyed, and tragically, my episode was never broadcast.
It took me a long while to forgive Pa for that one. But I finally made my peace with him when I visited his grave last year in Weesp (I couldn’t make the funeral because I had an exhibition to run).
Our experiences as children shape who we become in the future. And while this particular story had it’s share of ups and downs, I wouldn’t change a thing because it made me the true artist that I am today.
Eddy Van Loon.
Two years ago I hosted a gallery exhibition of my art as part of Hull’s Freedom Festival. It wasn’t officially recognised by the Festival, you couldn’t find it on the posters or in the brochures, but I held it as a self-produced off-shoot event.
The collection I displayed was titled “Beautiful Cubicle” and featured a series of black and white photographs of different girls posing in nightclub toilet cubicles. This was something I had noticed during my time in the UK, especially in Hull, that local girls had this strange fascination with photographing themselves and their friends in public lavatories. I thought it was brilliant. It was exactly what I was trying to capture in my art. The deeply personal and private displayed for the world to see. Exposing the truth and reality of modern society.
So I hired a group of models, not super-models, no Kate Moss’s, just regular Hull girls who agreed for me to take pictures of them in various nightclub, restaurant, and bar toilets around the city. These girls are brave. They have pride and respect because they are not afraid to stare reality dead in the eye. There is nothing I find more beautiful than a girl posing in a nightclub toilet cubicle.
Below is a small selection of the photographs from the “Beautiful Cubicle” collection.
For maximum effect I suggest playing the following music:
This music was created by myself to accompany the collection. It was played through the surround sound speaker system in the studio during the exhibition. It really helps create an authentic atmosphere.
If you wish to purchase any of the above art please get in touch. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @EddyVanLoonArt
Eddy Van Loon.
There are two recurring questions that people ask me in my day to day life. Number 1 is - “How long did it take you to grow that moustache?” and Number 2 is - “Where can I see/buy/touch your art?”
Let me answer the latter. There are many ways you can see the art of Eddy Van Loon. I’m open to the people 24/7 like Shell petrol station. I have a studio/warehouse/bedsit on Humber Street in Hull where I invent my masterpieces. Anybody is welcome to pop in and take a look around, grab themselves a flat white coffee, and peruse my art (try to avoid Tuesday mornings as that is when I Skype chat with my Mother).
I also present non-permit required exhibitions around the city centre; you can often find me riding my bicycle around the Marina or outside St Stephens shopping centre with my canvases and my cat Loren.
When you see me feel free to ask for a business card. This little piece of paper contains all the details you need to know to find Eddy Van Loon. Also, if you happen to find any of these cards discarded on buses or on the floors of takeaway restaurants, please send them back to the address above in a stamped envelope. They do not come cheap to print.
You may notice I also do PC and Laptop repairs. This is a side-career I don’t really like to broadcast but in my dark period from 2002 to 2005 I quit art and sank in to the deep depths of depression which led me to drink and a part-time ICT (Information Computer Technology) course at Hull College. Anything that Eddy Van Loon puts his mind to he succeeds at, and ICT was no different, I just happen to be really bloody good at fixing computers and the money is decent.
If you have any queries or would like to know prices for my art, do not hesitate to get in touch via any of the above methods.
Eddy Van Loon.
Six months ago my shrink asked me to describe myself in one word and the word that immediately sprang to mind was “icon”. Doctor Mitchell had been treating me for Narcissistic Personality Disorder for almost a year and yet he was still baffled by my answer. I had attended one therapy session per week, at one hour a time, equating to a total of 46 hours (or 2760 minutes - almost 3 and 3/4 seasons of HBO drama The Wire), and in this time I had laid my life bear to this boggle-eyed boffin. And yet still he refused to acknowledge the true artist within me.
When I moved from my home country of Holland to the UK back in 1999 I came in pursuit of art and culture and the magical promise of the Millennium Dome. I had no money. I was a young man surviving on nothing but passion and Pot Noodles (a spicy vomit snack in a plastic cup). But I was happy. I had dreams and aspirations. I was willing to die for my art. I walked the grey streets of London, satchel under my arm, shuffling from gallery to gallery with my work, and not one of them were interested. Although I did sell a sketch to a man named Ron who I met in the cells when I was arrested for loitering outside the Hayward Gallery in Southbank (when I say “sell” I mean he gave me two cigarettes and a packet of Wrigley’s Peppermint chewing gum). I would be lying if I said I wasn’t heart broken but I know now that I was simply ahead of my time. My art was of the future. It was groundbreaking. I called it Post-street art. Or Gutter Art. It was a reflection of modern society in all it’s naked glory. These squares in their silk scarves and burgundy lipstick couldn’t understand that.
Now 14 years later people are finally starting to catch up. 2013 is the year the name Eddy Van Loon becomes synonymous with modern art. You may wonder why I chose to base myself in Hull. Why not stay in the capital? Why not “city of culture” Liverpool? Those cities are too mainstream, man. They could never appreciate the work of a talent like Eddy Van Loon. The city of Hull is modest and down to earth. It has a thriving art community in the Fruit Market district where I ply my craft. Hull is art. Art is Hull. Art and Hull are Eddy Van Loon.
I am Eddy Van Loon.