On Saturday, 9 September the exhibition ‘Philip Akkerman, Twothousandsix’, was opened by PJ Roggeband, number man & wordsmith.
Through his unceasing devotion to one and the same subject – his own likeness – Philip Akkerman has for years occupied a unique position in the art world. His self-portraits are now famous all over the world: to date he has painted about 2400 of them, in a wide variety of styles and techniques, from flamboyant and expressive to serious and restrained, from realistic-figurative to totally abstract. Akkerman’s oeuvre is best regarded as a shimmering journey through all the remote corners of painting, within the boundaries of one and the same face.
The exhibition De Hallen had a very unusual point of departure. All the self-portraits that had been done since the appearance of Akkerman’s oeuvre catalogue 2314 were shown chronologically and without selection. Never before had the artist given the public such a candid look behind the scenes: the developments in his investigations as a painter are visible here, step by step, from painting to painting. For instance, one can see how the choice of a certain style and technique is slowly brought to technical perfection, before Akkerman sees himself forced to change course by moments of crisis and doubt – sometimes cautiously, other times radically. Balancing between conviction and uncertainty, limitation and total freedom, Philip Akkerman reveals how adventurous the self-portrait can be.
For the City as Stage festival the artist signed a unique Philip Akkerman mask, produced especially for the occasion and distributed free.