Homa Taj
Homa Taj’s Observations on Art and Culture

Homa Taj's MuseumViews

Artists Q&A: What do Eva Longoria, Michelle Williams & Kerry Washington have in common?

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Richard Koek, Kerry Washington, 2012, Courtesy the artist

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What do Eva Longoria, Michelle Williams & Kerry Washington have in common? An agent? A manager? No, in fact, they have all been photographed by Dutch-born American photographer Richard Koek.

I met Richard as per the introduction of Robert Kloos, the long-time Director for Visual Arts, Architecture and Design at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York City. I had heard about Koek’s work as a rising star of portrait photography… but later came to learn about his more recent, experimental photographic and publishing projects, including the newly minted Koek NYC: “A Yearly Magazine celebrating NYC featuring the work of Photographer RICHARD KOEK in collaboration with emerging artists he encounters in New York.”

Richard Koek, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Courtesy the artist

In late December, Richard agreed to participate in MUSEUMVIEWS‘ Artists Q&A series:

MV – What are favorite movie(s) & director(s)?

So many but seriously since JAWS I do not enjoy swimming anymore.

MV – What are your favorite book(s) & author(s)?

In George Orwell’s 1984: Smith’s devotion for big brother in the last page made me cry.

MV – Which is your favorite cultural centre or museum?

The KROLLER MULLER sculpture garden located in the centre of National Park De Hoge Veluwe in The Netherlands.

MV – What has been our most aesthetically (sensual, spiritual, intellectual) inspired experience?

Once I was drunk, hiding in an alley, in pouring rain while the cops were looking for me.

MV – What is your art (books, movie, exhibition, museum, etc) wish list?

To never loose sight, to be seen and to be an inspiration to others.

MV – Who is the artist or character (in any medium) with whom you most identify?

The way I believe August Sander saw the world. I identify with something in everyone and hope people identify with something in my work.

MV – What is the city in which you feel most inspired?

At the moment West Nyack this micro universe called THE PALISADES MALL.

MV – Who have been the influential persons in your life?

My mother and father. I promised myself not to be either of them.

MV – What are the most challenging aspects of working in the art world (& its institutions)?

Pausing the stream of images in my head, making something workable with the ideas and inspirations and going to sleep on time ;)

MV – What is the most gratifying aspect of being a part of the art world (& its institutions)?

The ability to show work that inspires people to find words to tell their own stories.  That my work heals and makes me and others genuinely happy.

MV – What is the one thing that you always carry with you.

My MTA card and my ATM card

MV – What are arts patrons’ responsibilities, if any?

Simply to enjoy what they buy or collect for any reason they find fit and to share this with others.

MV – What are artists’ responsibilities to their art or(?) to society, if any?

My responsibility is universal and not special.  To stay grateful. Grateful to be able to do what I love most, in a country I love most. To be loving towards others (well maybe except my neighbor who lets her dogs shit on our communal terrace).

MV – What are you art world pet peeves?

Too much explaining of what it means and what the concept is and talk about why I should love it particularly.  Art should touch on a meta level and totally speak for itself. In Art to me it is yea or nay.  I have not studied with the right vocabulary to find the right words…

For more images please visit MUSEUMVIEWS

Richard Koek, The Museum of Modern Art, 2012, Courtesy the artist

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