Jaco Putker has attended sculpture courses at Escuela Superior Ernesto de la Carcova in Buenos Aires and at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Today, the artist works as a painter but he is also the author of a number of experimental video-works. Given his complex education, one of the main traits of his esthetics consists in tackling several artistic techniques at the same time, which is one of the reasons why his works are so rich emotionally.
When did you first realize you are an artist?
I don’t really know what that means; ‘to be an artist’. There are few moments when I feel I am an artist. Those moments are the rare occasions when you can sort of see yourself through somebody else’s eyes. Like maybe at the opening of an exhibition or when I show my work to ‘outsiders’. Mostly I feel like a regular guy who loves to create stuff.
Could you tell us some more about your work?
I’m interested in Nature and in how nature works, in its perfection and self-reliance and its power of rejuvenation and destruction. In how it has a profound effect on not just me, but on virtually every human being. I’m interested in the Hermetic Principles of Correspondence (formulated in the axiom ‘As Above, So Below’; the correlation between macro and microcosmos) and of Vibration (which states that all is in constant motion. Both in a visually perceivable manner as on a (sub)atomic level. Every part of nature is connected to any other part of nature. These seem to be the parameters within which my work takes place. But within these parameters I try not to think too much about my work. Defining it sort of kills it for me. In hindsight I see a development and recurring themes and elements. And it strikes me that I seem to be saying the same thing over and over, regardless of style, medium or technique.
What are the advantages and the disadvantages of being an artist?
Waking up, not knowing what I’m going to do that day.
What famous artists have influenced you and how?
Too many to name. There’s lessons to be learned from every artist. From whatever discipline.
What do you do for fun (beside painting)?
Hang out with friends, read, study, sit in the dark listening to music.
What inspires you to create art and how do you keep motivated when things get tough in the studio?
Again, many things. The feeling Nature gives me, the changing of seasons. Something I have read, Something I have seen at a gallery or museum. Something I thought to have seen from the corner of my eyes, which turned out to be something else. And often my last finished work inspires me to start a new one; an improvement, answer or addition to the previous.
When things get tough in the studio I experiment with materials and techniques. Goofing around is important.
How have you handled the business side of being an artist?
Not very well. I’m not very good at selling myself. It’s not until lately that I’m slightly getting the hang of it. But mainly I just want to be in my studio, working.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Be disciplined, goof around and have fun.
With what kind of musical genre or with which band or artist would you associate your works if you had to make a symbolic parallel?
I love music, it’s very important to me. I like to follow bands and artists for years and years, just to see how they develop. You see that some musicians keep doing the same thing over and over. Others will change gradually, and there are some who’s albums will be radically different from the previous, but still be the same band. I think that in my work I fall into the third category.