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Interview with Paul Hermans


Can you tell us about your career? I was born in the city of Breda in the south of the Netherlands and grew up in an artistic environment, which influenced my creative talent. I consider myself a born artist so after studying architecture I fully dedicated myself in being a full-time artist. What role does mythology play in you art? My interest in mythology goes back a long time and translates itself into most all of my work. It is part of my being and while working it's ancient history comes to me in the here and now and opens windows to the future. This personal signature is a natural part in all of my paintings, sculptures and poems.

Alien Vessel no: 4 inspired by the fall of Icarus

What is the idea behind 'the argonauts fibulae'? The story goes as follows... A discovery of world format was recently done in the Dutch Dorestad (Wijk bij Duurstede). Eighteen fibulae were extracted from the ground during archaeological excavation work. On closer examination, this appears to be the mantle pins of the argonauts. In the cloth pins you can read the names of some of the owners, probably they were worn during ceremonial occasions That this is not only a myth described by Homer, can be seen from the carbon dating which goes back some three thousand years in time. The epic poems in the Odyssey mention the wanderings of Jason and his 50 volunteers in search of the golden fleece. It is assumed that the Argo and its crew have also crossed the Alps on their roaming route from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and have visited the lowlands, the earliest settlement of the trading town of Dorestad. Probably this is part of the famous treasure of King Priam of Troy. Some of the cloth pins show signs of fire. Further similar research of the gold composition with the original treasure, of which there is now a large part in the Neues Museum Berlin (formerly Pushkin museum in Moscow) and the archaeological museum in Istanbul, found by Heinrich Schliemann, are very similar.

Photo's of Jason fibulae

You have made images of masks. Why do masks intrigue you? I first made the more than eighty stone masks measuring around 20 x 20 cm. and later photographed them. Mask were first used in the theater of ancient Greece and has been very important for the current western theater. It was at best from 550 to 220 BC. It was the beginning of modern Western theater, and some ancient Greek plays are still being performed today. They invented the genre tragedy (at the end of the 6th century BC), comedy (486 BC) and pieces with satire. The city state of Athens was a major cultural, political and military power during this period. Drama was in the city center. Theater was part of a festival called the Dionysia, in which the god Dionysus was honored. In the Dionysia the playwrights presented their work to an audience. It was a competition, with a winner and prizes. These two main genres were never mixed: they each had their own typical structure. Athens exported the festival to its numerous colonies and allies to make known their way of life.

What is the best aspect of being an artist? The best aspect of being an artist is to fully dedicate myself to my work. Please visit my website : www.PaulHermans.com

Roadrunner nr. 12 type Nautilus shell inspired by Aphrodite.

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