Danza Con Luce Liquida

One beautiful day in August 2016, Dutch artist William Otermans delivered my finished portrait. I hadn’t seen the painting before, though I knew that it wouldn’t be anything like a physical resemblance. He called it a multidimensional energy portrait. It was hard for me to imagine how this would look. I was curious and felt nervous when I removed the picture’s protective cover. A waterfall of colours and abstract forms emerged. It was blue, interspersed with gold and orange. Orange! How was that possible? Blue, particularly cobalt blue, is my favourite colour. But, orange? It is a striking colour that projects Dutch identity, but it is definitely not for me. How could William have chosen this?

My eyes were drawn to the central figure which looked like a witch. Not a very nasty one, but still, I thought…. Is that me? My goodness. What does it say about me? I hadn’t the faintest idea. Yet, it seemed confrontational.

I felt much more comfortable with the beautiful title of the portrait, Danza con Luce Liquida, loosely translated as ‘Dancing in Liquid Light’. To me, dancing represents freedom and being oneself, liberated from the masks we wear unconsciously in everyday life.

Those masks are the theme of Danza and, indeed, every painting by William Otermans. That is what emerged gradually in my own portrait and it is what many discover in William’s work. It takes time to realise. To me it felt like being on a trip. Again and again, the portrait reveals aspects I did not see at first. The ‘witch’, for example, appears to have many faces: a wise old woman, a comforting mother, a dog, a horse, and even an elephant. Recently I was surprised to notice a ram’s head, quite appropriate, as my zodiac sign is Aries. The painting will quite likely spring more surprises. Intriguingly, I am not always able to identify the different aspects of the central figure or other recognizable elements of the painting. They simply appear and disappear. I cannot explain how this works. But it seems as if the personal themes appear when I am open to them. That is what the artist calls the ‘multidimensionality’ of his paintings. They elicit personal themes that are also universal. In these days of self expression, insecurity and collaboration, our quest for who we are individually and therefore collectively seems especially relevant.

The paintings by William Otermans transcend their sparkling colours and exciting forms. They are multilayered conversation pieces. The moment you think the painting has exposed its secrets, another dimension emerges. The paintings tell stories. My story, your story, our story. The only thing they ask from us is to view them properly, not just to look at them superficially. In practise, they demand us to take time and be guided by our feelings.

It is time to bring back the balance between our mind and our feelings and discover who we really are. That is where William’s paintings offer us a helping hand.

Titia Vellenga startte haar loopbaan in de kunstwereld als PR & Marketing manager voor Museum Het Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam. Daarna was ze 15 jaar werkzaam voor TEFAF Maastricht, voornamelijk als Hoofd Marketing & Communicatie. In deze functie ontmoette zij William. Eind 2016 besloot ze haar kunnen in te zetten om te communiceren over kunst die het bewustzijn vergroot en een samenwerking met William aan te gaan.