“Linger just a little bit too long at one place and all is lost. The patience of a saint, full concentration and a burning love, that’s what it’s all about.”
– Artist Ruud de Rode about Willems work.
Nickolaas Ischmar Cornelus Koos Willems (b. 1989) is a Dutch artist. Working in a unique manner, within the representational field, Willems uses the primitive medium of fire to burn his imagery into existence. A technique, in which large wooden panels serve as a painters canvas and heat as paint. Dozens of soft burned layers create a deep stratification rich in contrast and – when necessary – vulnerability.
Having studied at the ArtEZ contemporary Art Academy and graduated from the Klassieke Academie voor Schilderkunst (private Classical Art Academy for Painters), he combines these two educations to form and shape his inner thoughts and images into art pieces. Important craftsman fundamentals about anatomy, composition and perspective are the foundation of an expression of feelings and experiences. The combined education and a strongly developed perception lead to tense art pieces full of expressiveness.
Central themes like transience and desolation, but also a sense of wonder have roughly described his oeuvre so far. With his work he tries to inspire, amaze and every now and then move his fellow human beings. Themes in which the boundaries of technique and material are being sought: from the almost tender skin-pieces to scorched urban cityscapes.
The combination between a strongly developed consciousness and a highly time intensive work ethic didnt remain unnoticed. A short three years after graduating from the art academy the list of accomplishments is building up. Graduating with distinction in the summer of 2016, being labeled as a young emerging artist by the prestigious art gallery De Twee Pauwen in late 2016 including an exhibition in the same year, many group exhibitions like hommage aan Matthijs Röling and Skin in De Twee Pauwen in 2017. Another important step in his just emerging career was being a demonstrational artist during The Representational Art Conference in 2018, where Willems illustrated the origin and development of his art pieces to a broad, international audience. On top of that the well-established art collectors serving magazine The Fine Art Connoiseur wrote a full-page article about Willems art pieces in their February ’19 edition, to read this article click here.