Miko Veldkamp

Region: MFA Annual

Website: http://mikoveldkamp.com

City / State: New York, NY

 Through the use of romantic, introspective metaphors, such as shadows, reflections, and windows, I dive into my personal memories. The three places I call home—Suriname, the Netherlands, and New York—come together in a fictional psychological landscape, where colonial relations have collapsed yet identity and race still must be performed. By playing with cultural markers and stereotypes that are often read and (mis)understood in different ways, multiple self portraits can appear. Indonesian ghost stories from rural Suriname about shape shifting creatures serve as metaphors for my own shifting identity within changing environments. I start painting without a clear plan, constructing the narrative as I build up the composition, color, and surface. I combine everyday circular shapes, like satellite dishes, wheels, and fans, with the modernist binary of stains and grids, lighthearted immediacy with slow glazing, and inky strokes with impasto. The painting becomes a mix of layers, points of view, and historical and geographical styles, yet in harmony with and consideration of the cultural relations of its parts.