Artist Focus: Arjan Boeve

Artist Focus: Arjan Boeve

from January 10, 2022

Surprising is the word that comes to mind when looking at the stained glass works of Dutch artist Arjan Boeve. He uses an age-old traditional technique, largely forgotten by his contemporaries, to tell stories about characters from popular culture, from Tintin and Snowy to Donald Duck. Mixing references, Pinocchio can be seen wearing Nike or you can spot smiley faces on eggs. Born in 1986, this young artist based in Zwolle, in the Netherlands, is no rookie. Commissioned by Disney for Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday, he has since captured the attention of many collectors of stained glass and pop art around the world, especially for private commissions. We are exhibiting him for the first time in Paris, and would like to take this opportunity to present his special profile.

Arjan is very inspired by our modern world, full of fictional characters and heroes. He likes to play with their meaning and values; he uses them as symbols to mirror our own behavior and the changes in our daily life. "We live in a very interesting time, in which the physical and digital worlds meet, and I like to play with that. Exploiting the tradition of stained glass on the one hand and associating it with fictional characters who, in a way, don't belong to this world, but do belong to it. Almost as much as the old biblical stories, they are the heroes and villains of today, guiding our morals. This is a perfect playground to reflect on our system, our culture."

What does he wish to share through his work? "I want to entertain people. To give them an opportunity to pause and show the importance of the things that happen every day. Because we live in a hurried world and miss out on important changes in our society if we don't pay attention to the little things. These change us, they change the way we see the world. I think I was drawn to stained glass because it's a difficult art and craft to master and in some ways, it's no longer connected to our modern world. I want to remedy that, show how relevant it still is, and use the stained glass scene to tell contemporary stories."

See all the works by Arjan Boeve