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Rob Van Beek
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The images on this page are from when I had a studio at the Oldknows Building in Nottingham and show various studies and works in progress. I hope to show more recent studies soon.

Profile Information

Relationship status
in a relationship
College / University
Watford College of Art and Technology, Trent Polytechnic Nottingham
Program / Degree
Fine Art
Member type
I am...
An enquiring kind of artist with a rather analytical approach to things.

My interests change and develop with my practical work.

I try to do what I want to do, or what I feel like doing, in my practical work. Therefore my activities do not tend to be programmatic.

Nowadays my practical work and my 'thinking' have a fairly harmonious relationship (it was not always thus...). I let the practical work run ahead and sniff things out, whilst I daydream and research various topics.

Making and thinking go forward hand in hand by largely ignoring one another.

However, 'at some level' everything I do fits together and makes perfect sense... But I have no idea what that level is, or how to locate it. nor do I have the time or inclination to reconstruct or interpret it.

Perhaps all will be revealed at the moment I expire?

Perhaps not.
About my artwork
I am weary of explanation - particularly my own. I would have to be paid large sums of money to 'explain' my work...

Generally people pad out their 'art practices' with a lot of fucking about - a lot of non-art work. I'm no different.

Drawing can be a good model for getting down to it. Some of the things I make don't even require simple tools.

There is no shortage of clever, informed art around. Within my workaday routines more interested in moments of trance. I am like the bits that seem to come from nowhere, though I don't always keep them or use them.

It seems important that what I do should interest myself at the very least.

I am grateful to the people who have given me encouragement, friendship and support over the years.
Artists I like
I regard artists and makers that interest me as being, at that moment, colleagues and collaborators - just as they saw other artists as their colleagues and collaborators.

Ideally I would like to see the end of art and a happy fusion of art and life.
Many and varied thanks.
What exhibitions are good at the moment?
Can I nominate a DVD instead?


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Rob Van Beek's Blog

Multiverses - Geoff Litherland Paintings at the Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham.

Geoff Litherland – Multiverses

Exhibition continues in the Wallner Gallery at the Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

Painting has a problem with superimposed images.*

Interweaving and mutually enhancing patterns and motifs are indispensable to music and the decorative arts.

With pictures it’s a different story. Overlaid images displace and compete with each other. One image has to appear as ‘figure’ or ‘foreground’… Continue

Posted on March 25, 2009 at 11:12

Comment Wall (43 comments)

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At 9:15 on October 8, 2009, Fonarik said…
Thank You for your comment ! Actually I have always thought that Im not working enough ..
I found your abstract rope works and some other 3D objects rebellious and interesting , as something from opposition to practical world .
All the best from fonarik!
At 13:40 on September 27, 2009, Luke Gilliam said…
Hi there Rob,

you mention on your page that you would like your work to interest people more - or reference to that. Your work interests me very much. I love your piece Figurative Landscape but would like to know more about how it what inspired it? Look forward to hear your input! Do tell.

Best from Luke
At 22:40 on August 12, 2009, Rogelio Manzo said…
Hello Rob,

Hope you're doing great.
I've updated my website and since I know you like to comment constructively about art or paintings or whatever it is I am making... I'd like to invite you to visit my website and let me know what you think of my new work.. it'd be much appreciated..
At 17:08 on December 22, 2008, mike hinc said…
Cheers Rob..... Have a good one!
At 22:37 on December 8, 2008, Rogelio Manzo said…
lol... not at all Rob:
it's just that at that time I was very busy and didn't have the time to get back to you... my apologies. Your comments are more than welcomed since they were very constructive...

I do agree where you comment about the contradiction of our typical perception of things... I do in fact intent to disturb and instigate people... not just for the fun of doing so, but to somehow make them react to them in a different manner. To me art is about making noise to catch ppl's attention and tell them a different story other than the ones they already know... if I want to wake you up I need to shake you... I don't just want you to open your eyes... I want you to observe and act.

Lately I've taken as a subject the human face because I guess I'm trying to speak to ourselves... as if the message was for the character itself. And lately I've been painting in smaller scales.. that's why a more painterly quality has been added to them.. some people like them better.. some prefer my previous work. I don't like either one... funny but true... I don't like my work... in every piece I create there's always something missing... and my love for it suddenly disappears, as I don't like either what I end-up painting... the subjects... they're always sad or angry, in pain or in desperation... so I decided to include some "happy" or optimistic materials and colors to my work to try to find a counterbalance to it... I'll show you some of these pieces when they're finished; then the trends out there make me doubt a lot about it which make it even worse... but I try not to resist the temptations they create in me and let them influence my work... ... I am working on bringing out more the imagery, as you suggest, and I totally agree with you on that... I just wanted to take it easy on that as I was trying to create an environment of isolation, but I think I found the way to tackle that subject. And yes.. my work will continuously be moving on since I'm very pragmatic... my studio is full of stuff and who knows what can come out of it... it's exiting...

Thanks Rob... please keep talking to me.. I find your comments very helpful and they are highly appreciated.
At 0:12 on December 8, 2008, Michael Bowdidge said…
Not sure yet, we're down to london for xmas, might see if we can 'pop in' on the way back. Really sorry to hear about the studio situation - can't quite bring myself to believe it - doesn't seem possible.....
At 23:30 on October 17, 2008, Luke Gilliam said…
No not at all amigo.

You were supportive of my sketches when I first joined. That you mentioned Brenelles piece is interesting, as it features the 'spilt paint accident', I have begun pushing that concept a bit further on two new pieces, freeing things up a bit. I will send you something across in a bout two weeks. Best, luke ::~)
At 0:11 on October 15, 2008, Luke Gilliam said…
Dear Rob,

thanks for taking the time to comment on so many photos!! Appreciated.

Well you have been a tough critic..... Bravo!!

I want to argue your main point. Arbitrary. To some degree you are right - my work is, to a degree, abritrary. The reason is that most of my work is done as a retrospective look at my favourite music - most of which was written in the 1920's. That is the emotion that I breathe and cunjures the images for my work. I set out to recap different styles of art in a retrospective way. HOWEVER.........

I Do make it a point to blend retro techniques with 'action' techniques or simply - forced accidents. The pieces with forced accidents, such as the one you liked or found interesting BRENELLES FTN with the poured white paint mixed in with the subject, bring new energy for me and influence what I sketch, feeding back into what I paint. So you mentioned 'retro' and I answer YES!!! hALLEJUA - bring in the reto by the bucket load - or rather - I think retro can be fertile as memories to trigger a painting, for any painter, then of course as you say the painter has to do the job to pull together a tighness in their work with a technique.

To conclude - I have been selling the collages for 14 years and so my paintings are nothing more and nothing less than extensions of that work. Also I want to say I find your way of working with objects extremely interesting and thinking about doing some wooden sculptures after seeing your work. Best fr Luke
At 11:04 on September 7, 2008, Kriya Art House said…
H! I have taken it as a constructive criticism; I always welcome new friends like you,
I believe in everyday learning, it never ends; a journey always from know to unknown one knows some thing and try to keep knowing something more, if not one can not practice.

You are doing fantastic, I have seen your group studio, and how you all established it. Really you have made great efforts, congratulations,

Best regards
At 21:00 on September 3, 2008, Pamela Miller said…
I loved your curationism. I'd love permission to reprint it on my blogs and website with credits back to you of course:) Let me know if you'd be cool with that. I liked the vines and twines ones too(they'd be something I would actually buy as an art collector)...very cool. Altho the man hammer got my attention and I found myself attracted to it
however, I think it would make my hubby nervous if I bought something like that HAHA..



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