Suzette Huwae has been painting Strong Women for some time now, strong women drawn in colourful paint, oozing raw energy. Her style is Popart, she calls it “Glamour with an Edge.”
Despite her love for beauty there has always been a certain edge to her work. Something unpredictable yet very expressive and raw, which is why she is always looking for contrast. Big bold strokes as well as delicate and finer strokes. She uses a combination of tools acrylic, aerosols, glitter, and other tools,
Not surprisingly she sees her own grandmother as a typical power woman. “Look at what she had to sacrifice in her life, to be uprooted with your family and be forced to settle in an unknown and cold land, with a completely different culture and language. To be able to adapt and to continue with her life in a foreign land, that to me takes a lot of courage,” she said.
She added: “I wanted to make a statement, which would be a testament to these colourful, multicultural and above all strong and powerful women. I wanted them to show me their beauty, discard their imperfections, and embrace their shortcomings regardless of their imperfections. I wanted this all to be reflected in my work and that it would have an impact on everyone. This bringing together of culture and beauty.”
Under a short interview with Suzette about her life and work.
STUDY & EARLY WORK
“I graduated with honors on a first Teachers degree in Drawing and Painting at the University of Arts (HKU) in Utrecht, the Netherlands. I soon realised that I never had the ambition to be a teacher.
My final graduation project at that time was about “Moluccan punishments,”
I created various figures using different materials, with the message “Djangan marah aku” meaning “Don’t be angry with me. The frustration of not being able to talk about your emotions and not being allowed to be who you wanted to be. During my time at the academy, I drew my own child’s portraits in a very raw manner.The girl in (dirty painted) flower dress may smile, but behind that smile was a lot of suffering. it evolved into (Moluccan) punishments, executed in different objects, mixed media.
It worked as therapy..
During the years my work started to get more mellow, not so dark anymore, but still a bit edgy, especially about women.
I wanted to potray the fierce, beautiful woman, that was in me, I think you can see some traces of the expressive strokes and some sprinkles of rawness.
AMSTERDAM & LONDON
I moved from my hometown Apeldoorn to Amsterdam and used various opportunities to express my artistic skills in different ways, as to develop myself. I participated in Dutch TV shows (RTL5, Herman Den Blijker, Holland lit een tuin) and I decorated for theatres. (Van den Ende Productions) In the meantime my work developed my artwork into a more poparty style with very bright neon colors.
However, I didn’t feel like I wasn’t realising my full potential so I decided to move to London to be part of the vibrant melting pot. I had exhibitions and was very inspired living there.
My father passed away in 2012 that was a very difficult period in my life. I was depressed but i also had a lot of health issues. Allergies and complications skin, all sorts. I decided to go back to Holland, back to the known.
After 8 years of living in London, I am back in Amsterdam and working as a freelance Artist & Artdirector.”
“I like to make a statement about colourful, strong multicultural women. I want people tor recognise themselves in my work.
I am inspired by Popart Artists as Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami. Also Jackson Pollock, Francis Bacon, Rothko. Mostly Warhol, because it is glamourous and bold.
Just like me ;-)
“My style can be described as ‘glamour with an edge’. You will find lots of contrasts in my work, like thick strokes against delicate thin lines. Or I might use bold and thin lines at the same time. It can be realistic but also cartoonish. Expressive and fragile at the same time. Dark against light. I like to pay attention to these details. It needs to be unpredictable and exciting “Funky, edgy, sassy and colourful.
I like to use an international approach, which I translate as using bright colors, expressive strokes showing my view into the cosmopolitan world...”
I get inspiration of listening to music. (eclectic taste) during painting: Big fan of Steely Dan, Donald
Fagen, Pink Floyd, but also Jazz rock, and
Symphonic Rock. Soul. 70s 80s 90s
Travel, (also big cities) design, fashion magazines.
HIGHLIGHTS OF EXHIBITIONS
MUMA Moluks Historisch Museum” Utrecht Djangan marah Aku - Solo exhibition 2000
Paparisa Gallery Utrecht
Solo exhibition: 2006
MUMA “Museum Maluku” Utrecht
“ The Huwae Connection” 2010
Triptich exhibition with my father Paul Huwae,
and my brother Remy Huwae
Debut Gallery Notting Hill London,
Groups exhibition 2012 -2013
Graffik Gallery London,
Groups exhibition 2015
Gilardi Gallery, Forte Del Marmi, Italy,
Groups exhibition 2016
LXry ArtFair 2018
Groupsexhibition Amsterdam RAI
ART 78 Gallery, Amsterdam
Solo exhibition 2019
Sophiahof The Hague 2022
Estafette exhibition: Raw Edges