Upfest 2017 – Tymon Ferenc de Laat – sworn to secrecy

Tymon Ferenc de Laat alias “MeLikePainting” is an urban contemporary artist from the Netherlands. Tymon was born in 1979 and grew up in Delft. In 2001 he graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy. His work can currently be found all over the world, especially on concrete and canvas in his hometown Rotterdam. Tymon searches for contrast which manifests itself in a colourful and energetic form. His signature style portraiture can be originated to an travel instilled fascination that started in central and south America. His weapons of choice are acrylics, markers & spraycans. When at home he runs “MeLikePainting” pop-up gallery & studio on schuttersweg 113b in Rotterdam. He also is co-founder of #RdamLivePaint art festival.


Bit of background and how you got into art.

I graduated from the Willem de Kooning art academie of Rotterdam in 2001. I grew up in Delft a historic town with a rich art background. When I was 17 years of age I went to the academie in Rotterdam and studied advertising, after graduating I came to the conclusion that I love the creative part but wanted to find a more individualistic expression. Also realising that the academie was more focussed on creative thought processes and less on developing the actual drawing and painting skills I decided it was time to get more focus on the manual work. Especially portraits I always found a good challenge so thats where is set the bar for my self.

Influences on your work  

Most of my work is inspired by my adventures abroad and people I met during my world trips more than any artists. Especially central and south america made a great impression, the Maya and Inca culture and their graphics struck something within me, something that I am still to this date trying to define. Their iconic shapes and vibrant colours and history were a great starting point of my quest. The people, history and street life with all it’s bright coloured streets made the world trips for me. I usually try to capture that feeling in my free work. Also I am interested in the cross-over of the indigenous and colonial people and how the cultures mixed. A small window into an ethnic globalisation that has been going on for many centuries.

What was the best piece of advice that you were given when you were starting out?

If you believe in something than never give up and be positive about the negative as we only win or learn.

High points from this year

Earlier this year I had the sneak preview exhibition of an sculpture at Sober Collective gallery in Rotterdam that I am making which will be presented in Singapore later this year. I participated at the Trans urban festival in Essen Germany where I made the “Dig Deep” mural and participated in their exhibition. Some paintings were added to several museums, “Museum Rotterdam” & Maritiem Museum Rotterdam (NL), “Street art today” Amsterdam (NL) and Museo de arte e historia de Guanajuato (MX)

dig deep small-2

 What is important to you about your art?

What I find the biggest compliment when people look at my works is that it becomes a part of them creating their own story when looking at my work.

What is your process in creating a new piece of work?

It could be coming from all directions but when talking about my free work most of it is based on portraits that I have photographed on the travels. I start by filling the face with colours as if they were grey shades so when you would take a b/w image of my work it would look quite natural. But most of all to enjoy the process and leave some room to surprise my self.

Can you tell me something about what you will be doing?

At Upfest i will be painting a co-lab with a good friend and fellow artist Nuno Viegas, to be honest we are working on a sketch in the couple of days running up to the festival so it will be a surprise.

What are you looking forward to most about Upfest?

The road trip from NL with my friend and meeting up with many other artists and sharing our experiences.

Whose work are you looking forward to seeing?

Hopefully there will be time to have a walk around and look at the other artists at work, not one artist in particular but the general overview of what our generation is up to I find the most interesting.

What have you got coming up for the rest of the year?

Next up is Singapore with a series of exhibitions that I am not allowed to disclose yet. sorry 🙂 Other than that you can find my work in the streets, museums and local galleries in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. If people are interested in seeing my work they can send me an email and I can fill them in with running expo’s at the time.

Website            Instagram         Twitter         Facebook                    Upfest profile

See Tymon Ferenc de Laat’s work at The Spotted Cow

Upfest Saturday 29, Sunday 30 Monday 31 July 2017

Upfest Festival Map

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