I came across someone amazing on Instagram. And I do this a lot. Not come across someone amazing on Instagram, but browse through different Instagram accounts. I don’t know why I do it, I don’t know what I’m looking for, and I usually just end up making mean comments about other people, but only in my head. Because writing actual mean comments is just too mean on my scale of meanness. I have standards, people.
But this guy’s art is just amazing. Because I said so. Also, feel free to form your own opinion, and I only strongly suggest, in the most convincing matter, for your opinion to be in direct correlation with mine. Or simply put, exactly the same.
So, I went and reached out to Michiel to see if he would be cool enough to answer a few questions. And he was totally cool and answered all of them (unlike certain someone, just saying @TheoBleckmann).
Me: So first off, where are you based? It’s hard to tell form your profile.
MF: Amsterdam. The Netherlands. [he’s already awesome]
Me: I’ve been to Amsterdam, loved it. Do you have any official art related training? [I’m trying to keep cool]
MF: No, maybe some small courses. But my main training was on the streets. As a young boy with a spray can 🙂
Me: Did you have a big influencer in your life? Or was it more of a random collection of events.
MF: When I was a kid I was always drawing. And then, I had a neighbor who moved to Amsterdam. He had friends who did graffiti. For me this was THE biggest influence for what I am doing now. But influencers as artist: Jeff Koons, Bansky, Damien Hirst, Warhol, Basquiat, Keith Haring, Van Gogh, and much more.
Me: You hit a note with Basquiat, I have an almost healthy obsession with him.
MF: And a tattoo like this? 🙂
Me: I JUST GASPED.
No tattoos, I’m kind of uncool like that.
Did you ever try applying yourself in a “real job”? And how did that work?
MF: Yes I tried. But I am not okay in hiërarchie or status [I love the Amsterdamy ë, so I’m keeping it]
And I want to do whatever I want without concessions 🙂
Me: Were you fired with disgrace? Or quit telling them to go fuck themselves?
MF: I quit around 4 years ago.
Less money, more freedom. And freedom. [he actually typed freedom twice, and I think it’s an important typo]
Me: Do you ever regret? Ever wish you’d never have this haunting need to create and just live a ‘normal life’?
MF: Yes, sometimes. For a few seconds I can be jealous of people who have structure in their life. But once those seconds pass, I remember that for those people their path is predicted. For me everything is insecure, so much more exciting.
Me: Do you believe in God, spirituality, or none of the above?
MF: No, no Gods. I believe everything is based on coincidence.
Me: Really? What about fate? Meaning you were destined to take this path in life, be great, rule the world. That type of thing
MF: I totally believe the opposite. We developed because it was possible because of a certain distance between the earth and the sun (coincidence). The problem with us vs animals, we think too much. About faith etc. We think we are special, but we are equal as a monkey or a fish.
Just surviving and propagating, with too much spare time.
Me: Definitely harsh, but very well said.
You seem to be portraying mostly icons/famous people in your works. Inspiration or they just sell better? 🙂
MF: My expression is in the background. And in tearing. The subjects most of the time are timeless, and yess selling better…
Me: You mentioned you started with graffiti. How did you arrive to this medium now?
MF: Still watching it every day in the city when I go to my studio. When I get lost in a strange city. I can find my way back with the tags I saw and saved…
Me: Favorite city based on street art?
Me: Eh, so New York is not cutting it?
MF: It is, but it was 8 years ago I had my exposition there. So maybe a good reason to visit NYC again.
Me: Speaking of 8 years ago, that’s about the same time I visited Amsterdam and had a questions that no one ever answered. Here it goes, how come people in Amsterdam speak English?
MF: From an early age we get it in school 🙂
Me: Too easy. And took me only 8 years to find out.
This is just something I like to ask, favorite curse word?
MF: Actually in Holland we curse with disease. Not really nice…but it will be ‘kutzoi’
Me: Are you kidding me?! I love this. I will curse with diseases from now on. [also, I am not lying and you should believe me, lower respitory infections.]
What an awesome conversation. Also, is it wrong that I like the cursing part of this interview the most?
Find, Michiel Folkers on Instagram, follow, and marvel at his work because chances are you’re too poor to actually buy it (I know, I am). But If you’re not poor, more so, have an exceptional taste in art work, why then follow this link michielfolkers.com
And for Diabetes Mellitus sake, don’t try this at home.
P.S. Nobody tell him about the movie “Meet the Fockers’.