Astonishing, barbaric, wild and beautiful. These words might pop up in your mind when you see one of Jan Cremer’s art pieces. Born during the war, in 1940, Jan didn’t have an easy childhood. His father died when he was only two years old. Jan grew up in Enschede in a neighborhood that was infamous for thugs and criminals: De Turfkrim. His mother took care of him by herself. Despite his love- and hate relationship with Enschede, he always knew that he wouldn’t stay there forever: ‘In Enschede, you were born to leave’. However, the city that he grew up in has always been a big source of inspiration for him. He even believes that he has his authorship to thank for his childhood in this city. Enschede was also where he first got acquainted with the art of painting.
‘’As a young man, he already had a reputation that caused him to be rejected from the school of his dreams’’
As a fourteen-year-old, he quit high school. He was too tumultuous. In the meantime, he took painting– and drawing lessons from his next-door neighbor. This made him realize that there was only one thing that he really wanted: to study at the Academy for Arts and Design. Unfortunately for him, as a young man, he already had a reputation that caused him to be rejected from the school of his dreams. Jan didn’t give up and started to follow lessons from Johan Haanstra. In 1956, when Jan was 16 years old, he succeeded. He was admitted to the Academy for Art and Design in Arnhem. Subsequently, he followed classes in Arnhem, Paris and The Hague and learned to master multiple techniques.
When Jan Cremer was eighteen years old, his work was already exhibited across the world. He found that his style and work needed a name and so he developed the term ‘Peinture Barbarisme’, a name matching his work and his lifestyle. Jan lived as a rebel, a wild child and behaved like a savage. To achieve more fame, he liked to create situated scandals. To his great pleasure, he even managed to make the headlines every now and then. When he was bold enough to ask one million Guldens for his piece ‘guerre japonaise’’, as a twenty-one year old, the news even made the global headlines.
Jan Cremer traveled the world and that is visible in all of his paintings. One of his powerful pieces was inspired by his time in Italy. A beautiful, wild piece that we are proud to present on our platform.