''I was born in s'Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands in 1954. I have been a lifelong doodler.My work is influenced by children's toy's, folk and indigenous art forms. I am an amateur painter and maker of things. But I spend most of my time doing this and I will continue as long as there are new things to discover....I like my works to be joyous, colorful with a kinetic feel. I'll work with and on anything available, including old wood, cardboard and all kinds of wonderful junk,'' writes John van Orsouw.
John meets all the requirements to be himself.
He is completely self-taught which is not to say that he is not schooled. His schooling,however,has been the museums, the ideas, the movies and the streets of urban life both in the U.S. (New Orleans, New York City) and in Europe including his childhood home in Holland. Presently he is selling his work in New York City. His recent exhibitions include the Outsider Art Fair in New York and Paris, The 6th annual Outsider Art Exhibition at Galerie Belage in West Hampton Beach, New York , Musee de la Creation France and van der Plas gallery in New York City.
John's paintings are part child, part expressionistic brut, part music and part CoBrA. He is Dubuffet filtered through Rembrandt and Bosch via Karel Appel. He is, in the composite, pure John van Orsouw, a free spirit inspired by daily life, its sounds, its smells, its colors, its culture and its language. Spontaneity is his medium, like the jazz he celebrates in his work.
His work is playful - a carnival of bright, primary-colored toys which he then, like a magician, swirls through scribbles of motion and ends with a figure, an animal or a musical instrument. He plays with the idea that art is a toy and works the shapes into shape and superimposes, imposes and just plain poses these shapes within the spontaneous, organic and sometimes conscious scribbles, squiggles and doodles. it looks like John is having fun. And that's the way he wants it to look.
When he is working, John is in the center ring of a 3-ring circus. He is the ringmaster for the clowns, cartoons, the blues, jazz and colorful men and women. Wild-eyed dogs, cats and birds roam freely through his field of vision. As ringmaster he snaps his whip and whips his performers into recognizable shapes but in the end they all have a life of their own. His work, like the playful circus of his imagination, has been created for children of all ages!
Phil Demise Smith