From 500 to 5000 euros for his paintings, Erik Neimeijer did it

From 500 to 5000 euros for his paintings, Erik Neimeijer did it
From 500 to 5000 euros for his paintings, Erik Neimeijer did it

In the east of the country, Erik Neimeijer is best known as a musician. As guitarist of the dialect band Bökkers, he performed in sold-out halls and party tents for years and played two songs into the Top2000. In 2020 he will leave Bökkers to go solo. His first album Be My Guest is now available in physical and digital stores.

Music is still important in the life of 41-year-old Neimeijer, but nowadays he introduces himself as an artist, and only then as a musician. “I started painting six years ago. I had never done it before and I must honestly say that it was not easy,” he laughs when he thinks back to his first canvases.

First painting sold

“I have always been a fan of artists. But it is difficult to make something that you like yourself. The first canvas I sold was about four men playing dominoes, inspired by the book Dubbelspel by Frank Martinus Arion.”

With Doubles, Neimeijer found a style in which he could continue. The men playing dominoes still return in his paintings.

Neimeijer calls himself a figurative painter. “Cheerful and colorful. I am not a melancholy man and neither is my art. It is recognizable. You can see from almost every detail that he is an Erik Neimeijer. That is important to me.”

The cheerfulness also attracted Eddie van Schaik, owner of Opus Art Gallery in Utrecht, to Neimeijer’s paintings.

Artist Peter Riezebos

Gallery owner Van Schaik strives for distinctive and recognizable art and works exclusively with Dutch artists. One of them is Peter Riezebos, an example for Erik Neimeijer. “I want to follow him. He has opted for a clear line. Modern, cheerful and fresh. He sticks to his own style and tries to add new elements to it,” Neimeijer explains.

“Riezebos has grown a lot in recent years from canvases that don’t cost that much to incredibly high amounts. He now flies all over the world. I want to experience that adventure too.”

The first step towards this has been taken. In recent years, more and more people have bought paintings by Neimeijer, causing the price to rise to 1,500 to 2,000 euros per canvas and every work has found a place on the wall somewhere.

Neimeijer contacted Eddie van Schaik and his first exhibition took place in the Opus Art Gallery at the beginning of March. His canvases were put on the market for 5,000 euros. For comparison, Frans Hals by Peter Riezebos raised 60,000 euros.

Of the ten Erik Neimeijer canvases that hung there, four have been sold. “One is under offer and two paintings have an option, which means that we hang it on people’s faces and if they like it, they take it away,” Van Schaik explains.

Boys’ book

Erik Neimeijer’s painting journey sounds like a boys’ book, but how should his art be viewed? “I classify it as naive surreal realism with humor. Witty,” says art critic Willem Baars, also a gallery owner. “They are large canvases. I can imagine that that makes people happy.”

However, the future will show whether Neimeijer’s canvases retain their economic value, says Baars. “But that applies to most artists. In the art world there is a lot of hot air, both in the gallery world and in the art trade. Much of the sales talk is fantasy,” he explains.

“People are seduced through smart marketing and beautiful stories, prices are increased and sometimes even manipulated. This mainly happens in the major art cities such as New York and London.”

Baars often jokingly says that a cloth is worth considerably less when the customer walks out the door. “What is someone willing to give for it? But it can happen that an artist is picked up worldwide. Then the prices really go up,” says Baars.

Economic value

A canvas only has real economic value if it fetch good prices at auctions. Baars: “We call that the secondary market. If you manage to be part of it, your art will have more economic value. But that is reserved for a small group.”

Neimeijer’s example, Peter Riezebos, has succeeded. “It has been auctioned ten times in recent years,” says Baars in a global online database. “Once in Asia for 70,000 euros. Three times in Taipei. Riezebos is doing well as an artist in Asia. A Riezebos was then auctioned in Sotheby’s in 2022 for an amount of 35,000 euros.”

Secondary market

Baars finds it difficult to predict whether Erik Neimeijer will have the same future as his example Riezebos. “Art will eventually have to prove itself on the secondary market. It will be very difficult, I think. But I have been wrong before,” he laughs.

“The secondary market is reserved for a handful of artists. You have to be good and be very lucky. Do large galleries in the UK and US pick you up and show up at major art fairs? They have an almost closed circuit. There are thousands of galleries such as Opus and myself. We almost never get involved.”

The article is in Dutch

Tags: euros paintings Erik Neimeijer


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