Rick Fraterman | Selection of Artworks “Strangest problems of life seem clearing; but clouds sweep between. Is my journey’s end coming?” ― Herman Melville

For the umpteenth (beautiful word) time I am working on this text that in some way should explain my work a bit more. The other day I had a thought and wrote it down immediately in my notes on my iPhone. It says: "Paint a pretty porcelain cat in a nice interior with a beautiful porcelain vase. Make things look artificial." After writing this note down I Googled "human condition":

"The human condition is defined as the positive or negative aspects of being human, such as birth, growth, reproduction, love, and death. The word 'condition' makes it sound like a disease that we are all born with, or some curse that is the fate of all humanity, but it seems the human condition is simply based on time - the time we have on this planet and how we as humans live out that time. What we do in between the inevitable birth and death defines us, and there in the middle, we find the making of stories that will be carried on for generations to come."


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I visualise my own personal stories with figurative paintings, architectural models, objects and drawings. Additional items and objects are added to create a more layered and diffused narrative. The works are mostly a result of endless scrolling on the internet, combining the gathered material with other gathered content matter. These materials are mostly images of good looking boys or men, beautiful architecture, nice objects, pretty antiques and attractive images.

I like viewers to recognize and enjoy what they see. Stimulate the eyes with bright and vivid colors. These works should look as attractive as possible. Well, at least to me! Hopefully to others as well. They should give you the feeling that you're walking through a candy store, where everything smells sweet.

Seeing it from my perspective, I have this eager need to make things look better, nicer, more innocent, less hostile, highly well executed, approached with a bit of humor, less depressing and more frivolous. This doesn't automatically count for the subjects as well. But! I don't want to be too explanatory about what viewers need to see. As the director Alfred Hitchcock has said: "Ideas come from everything". Let's say we all have our specific motives to act the way we do and struggle ourselves through time.

Talking about ideas, recently I am working on a series of works that are part of the collection “To Pieces”. Since I moved to China, about three years ago, I got overwhelmed by the Chinese arts and crafts. The colors and patterns are really my cup of tea. Quite the colorists over here!

I collect all kind of different Chinese antiques (not for real, but on the internet). After that, I make combinations. I organise items based on my personal thoughts and memories. I don’t combine pieces based on period, historical order, value, quality and so on. I merely use my own subjective thoughts and ideas that pop up. When I look at all those Chinese pieces my imagination is creating a narrative. These “storylines” somewhere balance between life and death, immortality and mortality. In the end, everything is glued together into a work of figurative art. All because of the sheer joy of painting!

Before I forget, I studied fine art and art & design in education at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Zwolle, the Netherlands. I participated in several group exhibitions. In 2017 I migrated to China with my boyfriend and our two cats. Well, now we have three cats. We live in the bustling city of Guiyang! Hidden away in the mountains, surrounded by the most beautiful nature sceneries.