Monique Bouman


Somewhere inconspicuously in the studio, Monique is working on a large piece of paper. She is colouring in round and oval shapes with oil crayons, alternating between bright and pastel colours. Her work can frequently be described as abstract, but also birds, fishes, boats and specially chicks are often found in her representations.

Whilst working, a ‘cheep’ sometimes escapes from her lips and also in conversation Monique often finds it difficult to suppress a lengthy or brief ‘cheep’. When asked why she does this, she has to laugh and says that about four years ago she saw a stamp which depicted a chick. It appears that since then, cheeping has become a part of her. Since that time chicks have appeared more frequently in her work. Monique prefers to work directly on the paper with round shapes, without making a sketch beforehand. When, for example, distinct objects appear in her work, such as vases, urns or animals, they seem to dissolve in sea of warm colours, in a play with contour lines, surfaces and shapes. In this game, it would seem that Monique wishes to tear away from preconceived ideas about a thing, animal or form.

At the moment, Monique is expressing her desire to move in another direction in her work. ‘[I want] my own studio, shared with a girlfriend or colleague, in which I can concentrate better. I want to make different work, but I’m too distracted at the moment to do this.’ It appears that Monique wishes to retain an element of surprise in her work and that this is not so easy to evoke whilst working in a collective. She therefore hopes that in her own studio she will be able to undertake new challenges and that in this way, the surprise and astonishment will return.

Monique began her artistic career when the Atelier Herenplaats started and her work rapidly attracted the attention of a modest, yet enthusiastic public. A well-known Rotterdam artist frequently visited the Atelier in order to follow Monique’s work and her artistic process. That his work also has considerable appeal for her, is surely no coincidence.

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