Biographical notes
and exhibitions

Everything happens in the landscape

To Ramon Otting (1969), the landscape is a huge source of inspiration.
The landscape reflects our moods, is enjoyable, can heal, or gives room for contemplation.
"It's like this landscape tells me, you just relax now, and then everything will be okay".

Otting's work is all about nature and what it does to us human beings.
This interaction is essential. An almost physical ominous threat is present in a lot of his land and seascapes - sometimes in dark and stormy skies, but also in 'human' elements like a telephone pole shaped like a cross. The superior power of nature compared to man, who will always lose, is palpable.

"I'd love to literally transfer nature's behavior to canvas. To be able to paint like that is like almost merging with nature, even though there's always some sense of shaping the image. But of course this is never attainable, this can only happen in nature. Sometimes you can also go too far, so you fall over, but that's good too. You're done then. In the end it's all about the endeavor, because we can never really reach nature's perfection. We'll always be confronted with our shortcomings and insignificance. But it's in front of us humans in the perseverance, in the road to the goal. Even though essentially you're not, or only hardly, doing anything new."

More and more, Otting's work concentrates on building the wholeness to be found in nature. From low viewpoints and using the terroir Otting shows us the beauty and wealth in form and color of the weeds, growing on dry fields lying fallow in the Provence. The new loose way of painting opens up his work even more and strengthens the power in the details (2012).

About Ramon Otting

Born in Vinkeveen, The Netherlands, in 1969. Went to the school for graphic design after high school and has been drawing and painting since he was 12 years old. First tutored by a painter and later supported by his education at the school for graphic design and the HKU (Academy of Fine Arts, Utrecht). Initially, Ramon made a career in advertising. His creative mind and knowledge of graphic design helped him grow and his advertising agency MENDO became a huge success. Painting had to take second place until his body and mind rebelled against this choice. Ramon had to get out. In 2006, after selling his share in the agency, he left for Texas.

"And it was an incredible trip. I just drove around 3000 miles in about ten days. Only then I could completely surrender to adventure and nature and its inspiration. There, in Texas, I suddenly got it. I loved how the landscape looked there. It felt good and nice, even though it's enormous. The realization of belief in a higher power just stems from that landscape. It was so overwhelming and realizing how insignificant you really are truly confronts you with the question if there isn't something more between heaven and earth, and what that could be. Does something like that really exist? At that moment, in that landscape, I got that feeling you get sometimes, that it's a moment when everything just fits. There I was, high and dry in that pick-up and I thought : 'I will just try to document this. I would really love to go back there : to be there for weeks and to find out and study what is there'."

Back in Holland, Ramon totally dedicated himself to painting. Having found a suitable studio in his city of residence he has been a more than full time artist for the past six years now. He is exceptionally open to all inspiration offered to him, and processes it into new work with the speed of lightning. Inspiration not only from people, but definitely also from nature. He can't work without that source of inspiration. He started processing the sketches and pictures he made while in Texas. This resulted in many paintings from landscapes, but he also highlighted elements typical for the USA such as wooden farmhouses and sheds, derricks and, of course, the pick-up : "the ultimate American tool".

In an almost unavoidable reaction to these Texan paintings a series of Dutch landscapes 'with typical Dutch diligence' followed. From that time he travels a lot through France, Italy and Spain to explore the terroir in these areas.

Stimulated by the proximity of natural disasters threatening to happen, the strong influences from nature were developed some more in a series of paintings on the Gorges du Verdon (South of France, 2010). 'There, you feel how avalanches can almost come at you - the realization that a big rock recently fell down, in the river or on the road, just like that...'

As Ramon puts it: "Traveling through the Big Bend you discover the French Gorges du Verdon and the Dutch light, and vice versa."

Text by Paula van Zijl and Helena Stork - Art Historian

Biographical notes and Exhibitions

Born in Vinkeveen in 1969, lives and works in Vinkeveen

H.K.U., Academy of fine arts, Utrecht

En preparation :
Group show at Manifesta9, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Genk, Limburg, Belgium
'La Vie en Rose' solo show at Beddington Fine Art Bargemon, France
Solo show at H.H. Kunst Harald Haavik, Kristiansand, Norway

Solo Shows
'Ramon Otting et les Autres', (with Nedko Solakov, Robert Combas, Blade, Herve di Rosa, Louis Cane), Herman Krikhaar Foundation, Salernes, France
'Damaged Dunes', Vincent Vlasblom Art and Projects, Bergen, NL
'Eat, Drink, Art', Galerie Patries van Dorst, Leiden, NL
'Champagne', Galerie Ahrens, Wijk bij Duurstede, NL
'One Big Fight', Galerie Ahrens, Wijk bij Duurstede, NL
'Colore del Piemonte' Villa Beccaris, Monforte d'Alba, Italy
'Coast', Private show 4Willows, Utrecht, NL
2008 'Dutch Light', Galerie Artium, Luxembourg
2007 'Colore del Piemonte', Galerie Ahrens, Wijk bij Duurstede, NL
2006 'Texas', Galerie Mendo, Amsterdam, NL
2004 'Dirty Red', Galerie Mendo, Amsterdam, NL
2003 'BLANKS', Galerie Mendo, Amsterdam, NL
2002 'Land Escapades', Galerie Mendo, Amsterdam, NL
2000 Stichting Kunstwerk Loods 6, Amsterdam, NL

Group shows (selection)
'1001', Vincent Vlasblom Art and Projects (with Marcel Pinas, Rob Scholte, Boxie, Blade), Bergen, NL
'Christiaan Lieverse and Ramon Otting', Galerie Ahrens, Wijk bij Duurstede, NL
2010 'Hommage a Herman', Herman Krikhaar Foundation (with Eugene Brands, Corneille, Karel Appel, Marcel Pinas, Marc Chagall, Paul Citroen, Serge Kantorowicz, Jaques Renoir), Salernes, F
2009 'Care for Art', Galerie Hoeve Rijlaarsdam, Nieuwkoop, NL
2008 Galerie Ahrens, Wijk bij Duurstede, NL
2008 Kunsthuis, Barneveld, NL
2003 'Religion', Galerie Mendo (with Tim Georgeson, Peter Klashorst, Herman Brood, Ottograph, Menno Schenk, Manzur Kargar), Amsterdam, NL
2002 'Summer', Galerie Mendo (with Marc Langer - Pulchri The Hague, Roland, Jean-Pierre Voogt, Manzur Kargar), Amsterdam, NL

Commissioned art in public space and companies
ZUWE, Utrecht
Pijlstaart School Vinkeveen
Woonzorg, Amsterdam
USG, Amsterdam
Tommy Hilfiger Headoffice, Amsterdam

Represented in various private collections in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, England, Israël, Portugal, Luxembourg, Bonaire, Scotland, France, Peru and the USA

Press release : Var Matin  April 14th 2012

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