Painters 2015

Diederik Vermeulen

From studying psychology in his youth to working as a math professor years later, Diederik Vermeulen has done it all and yet, if you ask him, none of it was all that inspiring. Fed up with the bureaucracy that life flings at you, he packed his bags and headed off to live in a shed in Quelfe, a small parish in Olhão, Portugal. Leaving the drivel of society behind, he found an asylum away from the blast and glare of so called civilization. He began a new relationship; one with nature and numbers. Isolated and elated, Vermeulen painted the flora around him, beginning with a study of the plant life immediately outside his cabin. Deeply engrossed in his mission, he produced one hundred and fifty paintings of the weeds on his property, and went on to paint a series of trees - almond trees, fig trees, olive trees.

When we asked Vermeulen why he felt compelled to paint, he half-jokingly said, “I am not compelled to paint at all!” He went on to explain that, “It began as research at first. I wondered how painting was done and thought about it more like a mathematical equation.” But although he often talks about his art in a practical tone, Vermeulen is by no means numb to his subject matter. This is the third time he has attended the Lamu Painters Festival and he appreciates the culture, “the beautiful people.” Today Diederik Vermuelen lives between Holland and Portugal. He has participated in several exhibitions in Portugal, in the Netherlands at the Ton Warndorff Gallery in Haarlem, and in Germany at the Galerie Rose in Hamburg. He is represented by Peter’s Rij’s popular PR2 gallery in Amsterdam.