Last Saturday OPPERCLAES. celebrated its 4 year anniversary with the launch of the OPPERCLAES.Viewpaper. Perfect timing to have a chat with the inspiring entrepreneurs behind this initiative and to look back to what they have accomplished. We would like to introduce to you: Linda van der Vleuten and Bruce Tsai-Meu-Chong. Bruce is an illustrator specialised in the traditional art of sign painting. Linda graduated as designer back in the days and developed a wide range of skills in event and project management. Their combined experience in concept development, graphic design, illustration and event planning enables them to conceive and execute unique tailor-made events to connect young artists with a large audience. Thank you for doing this interview guys, and congratulations on the 4 year anniversary! The name "OPPERCLAES." is remarkable to say the least. How did you come up with it? We wanted to involve our location (Claes de Vrieselaan) in the name. After scribbling up a hundred names and combinations on a piece of paper, the combination of “opperhoofd/opperbaas” (which means “chief” or “boss”) and “claes” eventually led us to the a winning name: OPPERCLAES. Current exhibition by OPPERCLAES. x Kelderman & Van Noort with work by: Kazuma Eekman, Roel van Eekelen, Johnny Brankaert, Ferdy Remijn, Felicia Scholten, Niels Bakkerus, Bien Philty and Space3. Sounds like a winner. What do you stand for? OPPERCLAES. offers young and upcoming creatives a platform to show work to peers and the established art and design world. Both in our gallery and on different spots in Rotterdam (f.e. OPPERCLAES. Extra Large-project, OPPERGROOS. and lightboxes at the Luchtsingel). Especially free work by graphic designers, illustrators and photographers, because that group really deserves more space in Rotterdam. We think that there should be a bit more diversity in the field of young artists. Our goal is to act as a connection between the artist and the establishment, like future clients or buyers. We want to connect as much people as possible with these young artists. What separates you from other galleries, besides a clear focus on young creatives? We are a strange player in the field of Rotterdam galleries. Except for showing artwork at exhibitions, we focus more and more on projects outside the gallery and try to give artists more visibility in public space. Another thing that makes us a bit different is that we don’t choose our artists of the money we might make by selling their work. We show work in the gallery or in public to give the spectator a more diverse view on art. Art and design are not just for the elite or other artists; it exists for everybody.
"Art and design are not just for the elite or other artists; it is for everybody"
What have been the highlights? OPPERCLAES. Extra Large-project, a huge wall next to the rail tracks in the center of Rotterdam. Every quarter we invite a different artist to paint this 250 m2 wall. And last Saturday was our 4-year anniversary which we celebrated with the launch of the OPPERCLAES.Viewpaper; a nice document with a selection of artists that we worked with in the last years. Something we are really proud of. OPPERCLAES. EXTRA LARGE #03 from Opperclaes Rotterdam on Vimeo. OPPERCLAES.Viewpaper What’s next to expect from OPPERCLAES.? We would like to work towards a more influential role in the city, spread our philosophy a bit and keep on having fun in doing what we do. In terms of artists we have got our eyes on a few young illustrators from Rotterdam, a photographer living and working in Amsterdam, 2 guys from Utrecht and a couple of nice names who keep on doing good. Each one of them are pushing their boundaries, and working hard. And we like their work and think they do something special. Keep up the good work Linda & Bruce! We love to hangout at OPPERCLAES. and discover new talents, insights and techniques. It is such an approachable and friendly place. Looking forward to another 4 year of OPPERCLAES.! Make sure to pay them a visit when you can, they open a new exhibition every month. - Cathalijne -