Artist of the Week: Helmut Smits

Helmut Smits lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.  His work has been shown throughout Europe and in the US.

If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say? Check my website.

What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? First I have an idea, then I search for the right medium for that idea.

What artists are you interested in right now? Martin Creed, Max Lamb.

What do you do when you’re not working on art? At the moment I’m building a new house and studio.

What are your plans for the next year? Finish the build and make a lot of new work.

What were you like in high school? Bored, I didn’t finish high school and started working when I was 17. When I got bored with that I went to art school, one of the best decisions in my life.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? In November an outdoor sculpture of mine will be placed in a city park in Enschede, the Netherlands. The park is an Arboretum. The idea is to plant a Tree Family—every tree is a different species, but part of the same tree family (I chose the Rose Family). They are going to be arranged as family photos are, grown-ups in the back and children in the front.

Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? Some years ago there was this item about me and my work on Dutch television. I received an email from a guy who wanted to know where I bought my coat as he also wanted one just like that. I thought that was really funny.