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Merijn Kavelaars (1985, The Netherlands) is a painter on a mission – for him, painting is a journey into a euphoric vortex that ends in explosions of colours, forms and magical creatures.

‘Fighting with colors and forms is my obsession, ecstasy and torture’
Both his consciousness and subconsciousness come together in a naive style that combines daily matters with a fairytale like narrative resulting in colorful, esoteric and playful worlds, which express an almost anarchistic degree of freedom.
His iconic figures combine bright colour patterns yet express and almost dark sense of humour – sunshine also creates shadows as we know.
Merijn is an autodidactic painter who started his career in 2009 in Amsterdam. He ran his own Studio/Gallery and rose to prominence through several live painting performances, exhibitions and collaborations with in particular high end fashion brands. In 2013 – feeling a thirst for new horizons, he moved to Shanghai.

Merijn uses different kinds of paint and applies many layers to create character and dept. He works on several paintings at a time. “I set down the first layer: one color, shape, figure, contrast or relief, and then I put the canvas away. Maybe for a week, a month, a year – until I see it again and it tells me: this is what should happen next. I feel more part of the painting when I work on the floor, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.”
In applying his method, Merijn creates pieces that contain not only an outburst of creativity, but cover a whole period of his thoughts and feelings. “With every work I want to create a world I can get lost in. I want to be able to look at it endlessly, discover new meaning, fantasise about it and reflect on it. It’s a mirror for my soul, a painting that evolves with – and challenges me.”

Merijn currently lives and works in Shanghai. He previously exhibited his work in several museums such as the Van Gogh Museum, he won the Stolichnaya art contest and showed and sold his work in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Paris, Eindhoven and Amsterdam.

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