Artist Cornelis le Mair is one of the most incredible people I have ever met and he lives in the craziest and nicest house in the Netherlands. A house that would easily fit into the Efteling as a top-attraction.
Some time ago I was asked to do a portrait series on this artist for Tulp magazine, a glossy that I do quite a bit of work for, mostly travel though.
Place to go was an almost unlocatable farm on the outskirts of Eindhoven. My TomTom was giving me a headache (perhaps the other way around as well), maybe since the most beautiful places are hard to find.
While being stuck near a sprakling white new villa with two vicous dogs eying me it dawned me that this probably wasn’t a place where I would find a classical painter. Time to send out a call for help and guess what? I had just passed the farm about three times already. it was 200 meters down the road, paradise isn’t easily found.
In my rearview mirror was a tall slim man with an incredible white beard waving me to come over. Moments later my car was parked between chickens, goats and plenty of other small feathered animals. A beautiful old farmhouse with wooden walkthroughs that went into the trees just had to be the house of a genious. This was the home of the man who painted fullsized Rembrandts on his bedroom walls when he was a little kid.
Cornelis just breathes Art, capital A. Even in the sixties, when classical painting was frowned upon, he managed to get himself into the best art school available in Holland. He was simply too good, even in an age where modern art was considered to be everything.
Going against the stream of modern art has never failed him, never did he have to put in an efoort to sell a painting, everything he makes is sold before the paint’s even dry. Just doing what he feels like takes him into creating fantasy model houses that are so big and detailed you just can’t stop wondering how much time went into them (about three years it turned out to be).
No matter if you like classical paintings or not, you just got to love the man and his home. In no photo any object was replaced for the shot, it’s just how it is and that was just a dream to photograph. The house is the house as it is.
By the way, neither were any of the photo’s retouched, this is just how they came out of the camera.