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Gallery Eric Winder                                                      

I was born on 4 November 1953 in a summer house on the Noordlaan in the artist village of Bergen (North Holland). I felt the sky was the limit! 6 months later my parents and I moved to 'the ghetto' of that same place, the Jaap Weijandweg. This was also the location of the primary school run by the nuns. It was there that a few years later I experienced my first life traumas. When I was 7 me, my parents and now 2 younger brothers moved to a new built ‘enclave’ in the polder of Bergen, the Zuurvensweg. In the meantime I was attending the Adelbertusschool, a catholic school for boys, where I experienced further life traumas. In an attempt to battle back I developed myself into the best pupil of the class, with an IQ that would be the envy of even Nobel Prize winners! Naturally, I went on to attend the Gymnasium which I finished easily and with distinction. During this time it emerged that besides a talent for drawing (an A), I also had a talent for Chemistry (another A). So when I turned 19 I went to study Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam and moved to a student flat in Diemen. After having left the house where I grew up my obedience soon disappeared. Within a year I was the dealer of the student flat, I had started smoking pot, was drinking and had girls left, right and centre. A career in chemistry quickly became less and less appealing and after seeing the film Turkish Delight (original name: Turks Fruit / 1973 Dutch film directed by Paul Verhoeven and filmed by Jan de Bont) the decision was quickly made: I wanted to become an artist!

I was accepted at the Rietveld Academy where I developed a passion for the impressionist movement. The booze and women were substituted for white spirit and brushes and in total solitude I painted deep until the night. There in the communal kitchen converted into artist studio, I probably experienced the happiest years of my life.

Halfway through my time at Rietveld disaster struck. I read a book by Nietzsche and was ‘enlightened’ that same evening: a lightening bolt of love struck me and I was off this planet for a few hours.

The next day I decided to commit myself to writing and philosophy. After three years of writing, writing and more writing the penny dropped: if I continue like this I will go crazy! I decided to return to the Rietveld Academy and was able to complete it 2 years later in 1980. This was followed by the famous black hole. I didn’t want to paint any more. So I took my Solex and drove from Amsterdam to Athens making my money in the street by drawing portraits. This turned out to be the freedom that I had been searching for all my life!

When I returned to The Netherlands I decided to leave my house in Amsterdam and venture out into the wide world. To have some starting capital I participated in the 10 Day Art Event (Kunst10daagse) in my birthplace Bergen, where I sold all my paintings. Over the next three years I travelled between the South France, Bergen and Thailand, until my girlfriend at the time became pregnant. I accepted my responsibility and this meant the ending to a period of care free travelling.


And here we are in February 2015: my son is 12 years old, the inspiration to paint nice scenes in and around Bergen is dwindling. I have met a wonderful woman who, just like me, wants to travel and the motor of my camper van converted into mobile gallery is roaring. The birds are singing, the sun is peaking through the clouds, it is time to go!