“There is no excuse , you have to become better all the time”

Pat Andrea

slippery-soap-100x100cm-1980

Interview: Despina Monoyiou

His work appears in some of the best museums of the world. Dutch painter Pat Andrea is the artist behind paintings and illustrations with images of fertility, fear, cruelty and sexuality, guided by his subconscious.

A violent version of Alice in a harsh Wonderland of the 21st century is portrayed in your “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” illustrations. Does this vision of a grown up, self-assured, sexual Alice sum up your artistic vision of the contemporary female, as portrayed in your work in general?

In fact I really admire this little woman -in – being Alice for the way she confronts her “wonderland” (excellent: the word “harsh” ), this absurd world of violent and crazy beings, without pity or reason, a real nightmare! Yes, you can say that she is near to the heroines of my pictured world, but I did not programmed her as a symbol  or an icon of a winner! She survives because she kept a nice quota of innocence: the force is in the combination of bravery and innocence! 

According to Freud, people hold an unconscious desire to die, but this wish is largely tempered by the life instincts. Does this apply to your work?

Although the unconscious is the key to my subjects (what I paint is in fact what I see when I open widely the doors of my unconscious), personally I do not feel the death-desire very present in my life. The possibility of death is merely a real fact that does not bother me too much. Yes, symbols of death -that awaits everybody- are present in my work, but as a realistic detail of life, almost humoristic, easily overshadowed by the force of keep going.

pinned-up-1997

Human relationships are a main theme in your overall work. Is there any particular message you would like to convey?

As an observer of human relationships, our social drives and pulsion, I made them a main theme for my pictures, however there is no message to be conveyed; there is only what this person –that would be me- sees and considers.

Did Buenos Aires, the place you have been living for years, influence your work?

I came to Buenos Aires the day after the military coup in 1976 and I stayed and lived this for quite some time: it made me more serious in my art. Two years later I met my today’s wife in Mendoza and Argentina became my “other-me”. In this mixture of immigrant cultures, with a Mediterranean ancestry, things appeared clearer to me. There is less varnish over our harsh society , as it is in Alice’s dreams!

What’s an artist’s goal, whose work has already been exhibited in some of the world’s most well known museums?

There is no excuse, you have to become better all the time, that is the only goal. And you can never really know how good (or bad) you are, it is impossible to judge your own production in depth. So you go on, to eventually achieve your ultimate masterpiece.