Guus Kemp was born in Kerkrade, the Netherlands and at an early age, was exposed to works of numerous exceptional painters. Living in close proximity to cities like Cologne, Brussels, and Amsterdam afforded Guus the opportunity to see developing new artist streams popular in the 60s and 70s. In the early 70s, exhibitions of Mark Rothko and Jasper Johns generated everlasting impressions. In the 80s, while traveling throughout Mexico, he saw the work of the Mexican architect Louis Barragan, which he describes as “poetry to live in.”
Guus spent most of his formative years in Amsterdam, where he earned a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Amsterdam.In 2000, Guus moved to the United States and landed in Houston, Texas. Although Guus has painted many years using various techniques and materials, it was only in 2008 that he began using oil paint—a breakthrough experience for him. He prefers to paint in the early morning light, when his senses are sharp and his thoughts uncluttered by the unfolding day of activity.
Guus’ attitude about his art can be summarized as follows: “I want to bring the energy I feel, and the dynamics and brightness of life and colors into my paintings. My paintings are a reflection of who I am an extrovert who takes life by the horns! When I paint, I’m fully occupied and unconcerned with the events happening around me. I consider a painting great if it makes me smile, gives me energy, and appeals to the eye and soul”.
The painting to the right is titled – Rock & Roll.
I made this painting after a motorcycle trip thru New Mexico and Arizona. I was riding with a friend and we were very surprised how cold it was in Eastern Arizona. There were no clouds and I became fascinated with the cold blue sky which made all the colors even more bright than usual.
I like to loose myself in time and space riding on my Road King thru states like Arizona, New Mexico or Utah, where there’s no end to the open space. Even if you ride 70 miles per hour dots in the distance take a long time to get to. I find tremendous inspiration in riding these big spaces under the blue sky.
In 2006 I rode all 48 continuous states. This 19.000 miles experience made and everlasting expression of space, speed and colors.
The vast majority of this ride I avoided larger populated areas. I was hungry for the open road. The open spaces in the US is just phenomenal.
Staying away from bigger cities also allowed me to ride at higher speed. Feeling the wind in your face is very addictive. Speed and energy is essential to how I work.
Whats more beautiful, the red rocks of Utah and Arizona or the blues of the pacific riding up 101 in California, the greens of the gigantic red wood trees, or the blue and white skies in New Mexico and Montana. To me they are equally overwhelmingly beautiful.
What I do know is that the elements of spaces, speed and color and essential in my paintings.