Guus KempGuus Kemp


I want you to never stop looking at my work


I hold a strong belief about the aesthetics my paintings should possess.


“All good thing’s are one.” To me each painting needs to own its right to exist by being great as “one” total painting and offer a richness of details that invites for a never ending discovery of new elements never seen before. Each of these elements need to stay balanced so the painting always remains “one” instead of breaking up in segments. A segmented painting is a disaster to me and deserves destruction.

“It’s all about the journey, not the end point.” A rich painting offers this never ending journey of sensations in colors, shapes, structures and composition.

“If it’s rich, it will last forever.” The perfect painting has this holistic greatness from a distance and the never ending adventure of discovery for as long as we take the time to look and find the details worth looking at. I want my paintings to capture your attention and imagination for an indefinite period of time. To do so I use strong contrast to capture your attention. Color composition is one dimension to create contrast. Thickness of paint is another way to do this. A great painting is a life long affair of beauty and passion, and radiates the energy of living life to the fullest.

“You add to the world in the most holistic sense by giving energy.” Despite the fact that “the scream” from Edvar Munch is seen by many as a classic I would not want to have it in my life. I would suck the life out of me. I want to create the feeling of  “energy” that flows off the canvas to the viewer.  I want to inspire the viewer to grab life by the horns and fulfill their dreams with passion and joy for life.

In my world there are “swimmers” and “floaters”. “Floaters” allow the current of life to move them wherever the current, or the events of life moves them. “Swimmers” choose to decide themselves where they want to go to and put in the energy to defeat the current to get to their destination.  In that sense, I express the drive to swim. Making an abstract painting requires that you let go of the picture you know. While working on a painting I continuously make choices because I choose where the painting goes. On the contrary, if I would paint landscapes or a known object, I would follow the known picture. Having said this, I want the viewer to choose themselves what they see when taking in my paintings. Don’t let the title tell you what’s happening on the canvas, but rather your own story on what your experience is.

To the top right you see one of my paintings (Lust, 2012 – high 60 x 48 wide), made in Brooklyn in 2012. I had the privilege of working in the studio of the Japanese master painter Ushio Shinohara. Shinohara’s works inspired me to work with a limited set of colors and still achieve the energy I pursue in my work.