– 3 minute read –
The Sunday Session welcomes Martijn Form!
It’s a bustling spring day here in Amsterdam, I’m on my way to the De Pijp area of Amsterdam, coming straight from Spaarndam and my last session with Pero. Martijn is already waiting for me, smartly dressed sporting a bow tie. Martijn tells me that he’s just been to the USA for a holiday, a place he loves for the cinematic landscapes, diverse people and literature. It’s a place he can go to experience the culture without having a language barrier, and he can dive straight into the numerous second hand book stores.
From a small town, where his Mum owned a small drug store, Martijn tells me that the dominant opinion there was a religious one. On a Sunday curtains would be closed, the TV off, the streets quiet. He recalls that his Mum was informed by a church representative that hanging out the washing on a Sunday was not something one did here.
But Martijn’s family were less strict, and on this day children from the community would pile round his house to watch The A Team. One child was so excited by the action that he would ask “what’s going to happen next?” afraid he wouldn’t be able to handle the suspense.
Martijn remembers that conversations were centred around religion, and to have one’s own opinion was difficult and viewed as odd. He decided to leave the small town and try Amsterdam as his new home, some twenty-three years ago now.
Martijn identifies himself as an artist. He has made his best efforts to strike a balance between paid work, his relationships and the passion he has for culture, and indeed his own artwork you see behind him. Moving to Amsterdam, he read lots of books including work by Samuel Beckett and Franz Kafka. Loving being in the city, he describes being able to read a play, then with relative ease to go and see the same play performed. He tells me about the life of Franz Kafka. The story goes that Franz told a close friend to burn his life’s work, referring to them as scribblings. When Franz died, his friend read his work and recognised it as valuable. He was presented with the dilemma: to burn or to publish? I can evidently see Martijn has a love for the written word. So much so that he paints them again and again on a rich blue reminiscent of Yves Klein.
Martijn says that he appreciates when people around him make effort. We talk a while about how various apps give instant gratification, to be enjoyed for a fleeting moment, yet missing the process essential to becoming any kind of expert. For a moment I feel like this is the conversation of two old folks out of touch with the flow of things, but I have to agree that without a process of learning, there really is no lasting satisfaction.
We come back to the subject of Sundays. I ask, “so what do you like doing on a Sunday?”
“I like to use my spare time on my artwork. My art studio is a calm place where I can read. There is no Wi-Fi, no running water, very little of anything,” Martijn shares. “It’s a space where I can bring whatever I want into it, sometimes when I’m here I feel like it be any time in the last hundred years.”
Take a look at Martijn’s work here