Since I failed to report on this project earlier, my dear readers seem to have done it for me! The Rijksbook was THE project of 2015, keeping Massimo Pollelo and me busy for at least half the year. You have already seen the videos and complained that the calligraphers are hardly mentioned at all by our illustrious client, Marcel Wanders.

By |2022-01-26T22:22:56+01:00May 1st, 2016|Archive|0 Comments


Hey Franky, thanks a million for your patience and incredible programming skills! The four plates in 2mm stainless that you lasered for me were perfect, but they were only the beginning. Nick Ervinck sliced my Photoshop rendering into sections, Thierry turned the sections into a wooden form, and Norbert and I hammered, cut and welded the steel until it fit the form; then polished it for weeks to achieve the final result.

By |2022-01-26T22:23:11+01:00January 25th, 2016|Archive|0 Comments


Never say no to a commission that you are not up to. Say YES and then get up to it. This sculpture, made for Mattheeuws Transport in Veurne, Belgium, brought me to my knees several times before it was done. It was thrilling to push myself and the materials beyond anything even the engineers thought possible. But here it is, 150 kilos of hammered stainless floating off into thin air.

By |2022-01-26T22:23:25+01:00January 24th, 2016|Archive|0 Comments


The top floor of the old power station is an immense space with more than 260 windows. The artists of the Zandberg and my own students filled large sheets of Kozo paper with every kind of writing, mark, calligraphy and drawing. With these we created a black and white version of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. The effect was incredible, as if you were entering into the collective brain of all the artists of the show.

By |2022-01-26T22:23:45+01:00January 22nd, 2016|Archive|0 Comments


Time to catch up on months of news. September 2015: exhibition in the Transfo in Zwevegem, a small town in West Flanders. I brought together calligraphy by artists from De Zandberg, a center for mentally handicapped artists, and work by other artists of my choice. The Transfo is an immense decommissioned power station from the 1930s.

By |2022-01-26T22:23:57+01:00January 21st, 2016|Archive|0 Comments


Career-defining projects can be dangerous. They grab media attention and give you your famous fifteen minutes. After that you want to move on without constantly referring back to one highlight. “The Pillow Book” left its mark on my career but is now ancient film history – production began twenty years ago this month. Time for the long shadows of this wonderful film to fade away for good. So let me say a word or two here and then wish Vivian, Ewan and Peter a fond farewell.

By |2022-01-26T22:24:13+01:00August 10th, 2015|Archive|0 Comments


In the first room of the exhibition “Obedience” by Saskia Boddeke in the Jewish Museum, Berlin, an immense wall is covered with the words “I am Isaac” and “I am Ishmael” in a dozen languages, as if written by children. To achieve the necessary naivety in the writing, I resorted to the old tricks: eyes closed, left hand, back to front, and so on.

By |2022-01-26T22:24:40+01:00June 5th, 2015|Archive|0 Comments


The Golden Room in the exhibition “Obedience” by Saskia Boddeke in the Jewish Museum, Berlin. Texts from Judaism, Christianity and Islam describing the Sacrifice of Isaac in red calligraphy on golden walls. In the foreground, glass cases with manuscripts from the three religions, open to the relevant pages.

By |2022-01-26T22:24:57+01:00June 4th, 2015|Archive|0 Comments


Just back from Berlin, where I spent an exhilarating and exhausting week covering the walls of the Jewish Museum in calligraphy for an incredible exhibition curated by Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway on the subject of Abraham and Isaac. Saskia takes a bold and controversial approach to the most troublesome story of the Old Testament, presenting it from the viewpoint of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

By |2022-01-26T22:25:13+01:00June 3rd, 2015|Archive|0 Comments
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