Peter Vos Gallery
In July this year I blogged about The Peter Vos collection returning in Second Life. It was to become part of the Small World Art Gallery curated by Mikey Jefford. This gallery however no longer exists due to the sudden disappearance of the owner, just before the official opening. We only can hope he is ok in RL, because we do not know what happened. After the closing down of the Small World Art Gallery, Karkassus Jigsaw, the son of Peter Vos, who just had finished the build for his father’s works, decided to not delete his newly created place, but to move it to a new, permanent place. I am very happy he did, because it is so much worth a visit! I am convinced you also will be happy to walk around for a long time to watch and feel all the impressions of Peter Vos’ remarkable talent. TP TO THE NEW GALLERY
In the previous blog I published an interview with Karkassus Jigsaw and I decided to reblog it here. Just because it adds to the experience and because it’s timeless and essential information for a good view on the works of his father and because he as son was part of the artistic inspiration. You can (re)read that interview as last part of this blog. First some highlights that should not be missed.
Peter Vos had the very sweet habit to surprise his son Karkassus Jigsaw (Sander Vos in RL) with very cute and touching birthday presents. One of them is a series of drawn Harlequins in 1982. When you click the object in the gallery it will present you a local chat text as with many other objects in the gallery. So do click, because the original language is Dutch and hard to read for most ;) One of the exhibited birthday surprises is:
7 HARLEQUINS FOR SANDER, WHEN IT WAS HIS BIRTHDAY ONCE AGAIN 1982
Harlequins for Sander: Drawing by Peter Vos 1982
Drawn in Mokum (=Amsterdam) by Peter
Near the end of January I have drawn a Harlequin seven times in an oval.
Each time I thought it would become the Harlequin that would make all
other Harlequins redundant; but even the seventh opens new vistas of
innumerable other tries, because that is the way it is in my profession:
one is never finished and that is a good thing!
– These seven Rag-Creatures were properly put in a little cover and given
to Sander on his Birthday. You are growing so fast, my prince!
You are staying so nice, a smiling jewel for your parents.
So, Love from Peter, 31-1-1982
(This was, as you can see, the Colophon, bye honey)
Karkassus/Sander transformed a few books of his father into virtual issues. Two of these (intelli)books can be found at the terrace on the outside of the gallery. A true pleasure to go through them, I promise you. Below a short description:
Peter Vos drew ‘Genesis’ in 1958 for a Swedish girl he was in love with. She immediately took it to a publisher, who loved the book, but he had the feeling it was too explosive for Dutch society at that time and it wasn’t until 1966 he dared to publish it. It was reprinted eight times afterwards. This 10th, virtual book was made in November 2010. Original title: ‘Scheppingsverhaal’. A must see book about God creating the world (and with cool sunglasses after he created light) and Adam and Eve losing their innocence. For good or bad? Up to you but in my blog Satan, the anti-hero you can read Adam and Eve maybe were right to resist to God and their non-access to the essential knowledge of good and bad.
Wondrous true story of mister P.’s escape
About a character trying to find shelter, happiness and freedom, ending up in all kinds of tricky situations. To know if it ends well . . . . . go and see.
Note: On this same terrace you also can find some items for sale. Some are free, some are paid items.
Inside the gallery you will find a slideshow with images and a kind of biography, together with quotes from admirers that describe the artist. One of the nicest comments I read was the one of Willem Kuipers. He describes Peter Vos as an artist that never lost the innocence of a playing child, showing an accurate naivety. The sad but understandable effect of becoming more and more admired and famous, he even got knighted, was that Peter Vos started to withdraw from public life and in the end became a bit mysantrophic. Peter Vos was not a man feeling comfortable in public spotlights.
At around 1966 Peter Vos started to paint watercolour miniatures, each of them the size of a ‘rijksdaalder’, a Dutch 2 and a halve guilder coin (before the Euro was introduced). He had to use very thin paintbrushes for that and for some details he even used a paintbrush with one hair only. Sander Vos created a ZOOM view for these miniatures. Simply click on a miniature and your screen will switch to fullscreen view of the miniature. Stand when done and go to the next. It’s a great way of watching such small yet detailed masterpieces.
Quartet of Beasts
Especially nice for children is the Quartet of Beasts, a little game in which Peter Vos deliberately used abusive words (but in a funny not shocking way) as names of the characters of the beasts.
It gives children a legitimate way to be a bit naughty in their speech and parents only can and should wink and laugh together with their children :)
Like stealing a cookie and someone not punishing you but having a warm smile of understanding.
————- Previous interview —————
Peter Vos and Karkassus Jigsaw
Karkassus Jigsaw is the son of the Dutch artist Peter Vos, who died in november 2010. After his death Karkassus decided to take care of his father’s work in RL and SL. Wikipedia describes Peter Vos as best known for his illustrations in numerous magazines and journals. With his own recognizable style, sagacious and witty, he drew mostly animals (especially birds), humans and combinations (metamorphoses). I talked with Karkassus and did a mini-interview with him, which you can read below. More about Peter Vos as well on WIKIPEDIA.
Three years ago Yesikita Coppola made a machinima: Peter Vos, Metamorphoses (In Second Life), when Karkassus temporarily showed his father’s work in Second Life for the first time in a special build. I visited back then and am very happy to see some of the works back in the Small World Gallery now. The machinima gives a very good impression of this installation and I can recommend it to all of you. And there is this article at the SL blog NEW WORLD NOTES about this first exhibition: Sander’s Memorial
Interview Karkassus Jigsaw
1. What made you decide to protect and promote the legacy of your father’s work?
Karkassus: The moment he died it was up to us – his widow and me – to look after his work. He made an enormous body of work and we are still trying to get some kind of overview. Even five years after his death new things keep popping up all the time. My father got the death penalty from his doctor three months before his death. But apart from this sudden end and little time left to prepare himself and ourselves, he never cared about archiving his works, which makes it so difficult for us to know what exactly is out there, because it is everywhere. Fortunately we got help from a professor emiritus who is traveling all over holland to find works of my father. His specialty is 16th century drawings but he now dedicates all his time to my father. You can look at it this jump to the 20th century as his new subject of investigation. In fact there are 2 persons busy with making an overview: Eddy de Jongh and Jan Piet Filedt Kok. My job is to take care of the restoration and scanning of my personal collection, my mother’s and some other people’s collections. Both persons also cooperated on the publication of Metamorfosen.
2. Are you an artist yourself as well?
Karkassus: My father and I drew a lot together until I was something like 16 and I always wanted to become a draughtsman too, but understood very well I would always be seen as ‘the son of’. And because I adored film as well I decided to become a film editor. You can read more about that on my IMDB page.
3. What new developments can you share with the readers who are interested and able to visit RL activities, or buy things of your father’s work?
Karkassus: In the beginning of next year there will be a new book,with letters. He made wonderful elaborate letters full of drawings and funny trompe l’oeuils and strange ways of folding. Or he wrote two stories one one page, in different handwritings, things like that. Preview is HERE. My father was an incredibly erudite person. He knew many poems and songs in original languages by heart. He could cite Appolinaire, Proust, Heine, Homer, Ovid, you name it. Because of this his work is full of references. Also there will be two exhibitions in The Hague next year and a documentary about his life. The teaser can be seen here: Vogelparadijs (Bird paradise)
4. Is Second Life a place your father knew?
Karkassus: I have been in SL since 2006 and was busy with building and machinima when he became ill. I love building in SL, it relaxes me. My father knew SL via me but it was difficult for him to understand as it is for anyone who has never lived here inworld. So I don’t know for sure if he would have liked this virtual career am trying to achieve, but I do know his widow appreciates it very much. While he was still alive I was building a 3D version of one of his drawings, called Villa Insight and we talked about that. After his death I kept building and it became bigger and bigger. At some point I decided to make an exhibition of it, which resulted in the first virtual world exhibition of Peter Vos in Second Life. It is an interesting project because he is quite famous in RL Holland but of course much less in this international cyberspace community.
5. Do you have a favorite work?
Karkassus: I think ‘Depression’ is very beautiful. I found it in a box. Nobody knew it. It’s about my parent’s divorce and it’s a masterpiece. I will be showing it in the Small World Art Gallery exhibition. My father had many wives. And in general it’s hard to stay married as an artist, because they have this need to immerse themselves in their work and possess a huge dose of egocentrism due to that. It’s very hard to live with an egocentric person, but also great artists exist because of their other qualities and talents. There is this wonderful poem by Annie M.G. Schmidt called ‘Raad’, which describes this essence of art :) A mother advices her daughter to never fall in love with a poet/artist, because you never will stay number one and always be confronted with new lovers.
For those who like to get updated with news about Peter Vos projects I suggest you join THIS GROUP inworld.