Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Aaf van Essen

We sat next to her in a movie theater to watch a Chinese movie. I do not remember the title of the movie we were going to see, but I do remember that when the movie ended, I asked or told her something and we started a conversation. She had the same name as my partner, we had a conversation as if we had known each other for years.

Then we invited Aaf to a party that we organized and then to another party, until the last party, for the 50 years that Aafke and I are together.

Aafke was intrigued by her work in China. "Each year she taught a period in Xiamen in China, in the art academy there, she taught in book design. She invited us to a meeting in Amsterdam at the Lloyd Hotel where a Chinese friend talked about the design of Chinese characters -- how there is a link between the forms of the signs and the meaning of them. At a table, Aaf had exhibited books with Chinese texts and drawings, she lent me a book about an old Chinese teacher, who was drawing with his fingers and his fingernail. She suggested I could try it: painting ports and boats with my fingers and nails. What was more direct than drawing with your own body! I told her I was looking for a new style. She thought, I think, that in this way I could work even more spontaneously. "

This morning we learned that she has died, Aaf van Essen.

PS: Suddenly I remember a very nice moment that I lived with Aaf (her full name is also Aafke) when there was an exhibition of paintings by my partner Aafke. She, Aaf, arrived on time, before the opening, because she had to leave early. 'Too bad I can not hear your guitar,' she told me. 'No problem,' I replied, 'I'm going to play guitar for you alone.' We retired in a room of the house where the exhibition was and I played for her, and I played better than ever ...


Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for this post. She was such a beautiful person and will be missed dearly.
Her friend in Pittsburgh, PA

6:07 AM  
Blogger giovanni said...

PA, now we can only think about her, share thoughts and look at what she made. How did you meet her?

3:19 AM  

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