‘I actually wanted to make a room in which that feeling plays, so the idea of a place without being where it is.’
Naame Morgan Betz
Born: The Netherlands, 1974
ARTZUID edition(s): ARTZUID 2019
More about the artist
Morgan Betz is a visual artist with Dutch-American roots. He makes paintings, sculptures and installations in his hometown Amsterdam, but also from Berlin and Japan. Betz was educated at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and De Ateliers, a postdoc course at the National Academy of Visual Arts.
With his objects, he protests the fact that art objects often have to have some form of relevance. The basic beauty of the object no longer seems to be enough. Betz takes a contrary and sometimes provocative approach. He tries to find a balance between a flow of ideas and the final work of art. After completion, this must save itself within the art world. Time and again he explores the boundary between fiction and reality. Recognizable images (fish, breasts, garden fences) seem innocent and funny, but they also evoke paradoxes and puns that give rise to grim scenes.
He creates brightly coloured chalk drawings that resemble electrically charged feverish dreams about a parallel universe. Often images from pop culture form the basis for this, for example, photos of Elvis Presley in Hawaii or characters from Dragonball Z. Sometimes they also explicitly refer to Sunday painters. Betz’s drawing style is associative rather than realistic and spreads a glowing, almost tangible energy.
In 2018, Betz held the exhibition ‘Flies on Milk, Green Eggs and Ham’ at the Kunstmuseum in The Hague, partly named after the children’s book ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ (1960) by Dr Seuss. In doing so, he returned to his childhood years. Flies on milk refers to a line by the French medieval poet François Villon. For this exhibition, he also designed a sculpture consisting of an enormous bright pink cross made of tubular steel, which was placed in the pond near the museum. This sculpture was shown a year later during ARTZUID 2019.