John Nieland (1966) was born in Baflo, Groningen and grew up in Friesland. From an early age, he proved to have creative talent. For only a short time, Nieland attended the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. However, working according to academic methods hindered his free style, after which he decided to follow his own path.
His work has its own style with a strong tendency toward the abstract, expressive, uninhibited and surrealistic, inspired by art from the CoBrA era. The colorful and often large dimensions of his work are characterized by thickly applied layers of paint in which he captures emotions from the past. Due to the enormous layering, the work is a lot more complex than at first glance suggests, and often several paintings are hidden beneath the surface. Each creation contains a piece of history, a story, an emotion, a secret, powerful and innovative. Artistic expression is a necessity of life for Nieland.
In 1996, Nieland founded the artist group Lamütta in Amsterdam. The group included visual artists, composers, filmmakers, fashion designers and designers including Herman Brood, Karel N.L. Grazell and Edwin Donders.
His first exhibition was at café de Duvel in Amsterdam in 1996. Nieland has since exhibited regularly both nationally and internationally, including in Japan, Ibiza, Spain, Antwerp, Amsterdam, The Hague, Hilversum and Naarden Vesting.
For a long time, Nieland worked in the music industry as an A&R manager for several major record companies. As a producer, he has also worked on several music and video productions. Besides his love of music, painting has always remained his greatest passion.
In 2018, Nieland visited Japan at the invitation of the Japanese government as part of an art exchange project in collaboration with the Dutch embassy. Depending on developments surrounding Corona, Nieland hopes to continue his Japanese adventure in 2022.
“Art is created in my head. My creativity is a reflection of my experiences and thoughts. Everything I create has to do with the experience of the moment. Often you can see my dreams reflected in the work or I capture a certain emotion I am experiencing at that moment in the work.”
The CoBrA movement has always inspired me, I work according to the same principle as the artists of this group. Paintings and drawings develop as if in a daze, in my subconscious. Paint is the tool with which I create. My creations bring a personal message.
The figures and use of color in my work can awaken a dormant imagination. I would like to make people dream again.
My artistic expressions cannot be pigeonholed. I have not strived for perfection all my life, so my creations are far from perfect and will never be perfect. I am happy when my creation screams and starts speaking its own language. That’s the moment when I can let it go.”