Michaël HiepMichaël Hiep (born in Amsterdam, 1959) was practically born with drawing in his blood. Plagued with asthmatic bronchitis, he was forced to be more self-reliant than other children and would often be indoors, drawing, while others played outside. So it was that he developed the talent he had been born with, fell under the spell of the pencil, and won many a drawing competition. It was not long before studying the “little big” things around him gave Michaël tremendous mastery of form.

At about the same time, around the age of thirteen, Michaël found himself taking an interest in religion and symbolism. As an altar boy in the Liberal Catholic Church he grew up with the idea of one day becoming a priest. He assisted at baptisms, weddings, deaths and funerals and received training for the priesthood. This doubtless had an effect on his thinking, but he later left the seminary to devote himself to his painting.

Fascinated by the rich diversity of form in both nature and the arts, in his work Michaël has always kept faith with realism, even though during his student days abstraction was sometimes obligatory. Some teachers such as Brouwer and Cardenas encouraged him to go further down the abstract path, but the young Michaël saw that more as a failure, an insult to the magnificent reality all around him. In 1981 he graduated from Amsterdam’s famous Gerrit Rietveld Academie in “Free technique. Specialism: oil painting”. Since then he has had many exhibitions in galleries and museums both in the Netherlands (Amsterdam. Haarlem, The Hague etc.) and abroad (including London and Paris).

Michaël is the author of several instructive articles in Artschool Magazine and it is possible to buy postcards of his work. He has made paintings for a number of postage stamp issues abroad, and has also been the subject of interviews both in the print media and on radio.

He now lives in Hilversum and paints and paints and paints…

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