On June 10, Dutch artist Aldo van den Broek will discuss his residency experience at Kings County Hospital Center’s Behavioral Center (KCHC) as part of the Beautiful Distress (BD) program supported by Residency Unlimited. Fostered by the Beautiful Distress Foundation in Amsterdam, this unique residency initiative aims to de-stigmatize mental illness through artistic initiative in psychiatric settings. Guest speakers will include Wilco Tuinebreijer , founder of Beautiful Distress and Carlos Rodriguez Perez, Director of the Wellness and Recovery Division at the Behavioral Health Service, Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn.
“A psychiatric illness is not something you see. Because I am spending almost 24 hours a day in or around the hospital I am confronted with myself. To make art you have to look in a different or your own specific way to your situation. In the beginning I worked impulsively. I took some distance, listened to stories about people, the hospital and the G building that was broken down. I am constructing a G building that I never have seen, but which is based on all the impressions I am experiencing here…”Aldo van den Broek.
The event starts 6:30pm and is free and open to the public
Aldo van den Broek was selected to participate in the Beautiful Distress residency project with support from Residency Unlimited. Beautiful Distress is a Dutch initiative that uses art in an attempt to open up the world of psychiatry and battle the stigma attached to mental illness. In 2014, Beautiful Distress expanded to New York in partnership with King’s County Hospital Center (Brooklyn) During his 3 months residency Aldo van den Broek will work in the Recovery and Well Being Unit at KCHC as well as benefit from RU’s customised support.
Aldo van den Broek. Photo: Titia Hahne
Van den Broek began practicing painting in the city of Amsterdam in his early twenties. He was a squatter and painted together with a group of artists that later formed the Blitzkrieg collective. Due to this method of learning, Aldo considers himself as an autodidact. He then moved from Amsterdam to Berlin which provided the right context for him to develop his own artistic style. Van den Broek is known for his very large, multi-layered, outspoken paintings and collages. History, underground, punk and romanticism, architecture and people meet in his works. He is fascinated by the urge of people to strive for safety and freedom simultaneously and the deconstruction that normally follows. His paintings are constantly transforming through an organic process he applies in his work. “The end result should show you that it wasn’t just some cardboard pasted together and then painted. The process has many layers and gradually gets his final form.”
Wilco Tuinebreijer is the founder of the Beautiful Distress initiative and a psychiatrist working in social and urban psychiatry in Amsterdam. He is medical director of the mental health department at the municipal health service Amsterdam. (GGD)
Carlos Rodriguez Perez is the Director of the Wellness and Recovery Division at the Behavioral Health Service, Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn. Carlos is a graduate from the NYU Drama Therapy program, and has been working as a Creative Arts Therapist in psychiatry for 21 years. He served at the board of the North American Drama Therapy Association (Treasurer and President), as well as the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Association.
Residency Unlimited (RU) supports the creation, presentation and dissemination of contemporary art through its unique residency program and year-round public programs. We forge strategic partnerships with collaborating institutions to offer customized residencies designed to meet the individual needs of participating artists and curators. Residents benefit from our diverse network of partners, which allows for flexibility, customization and access to a wide range of services and resources including but not limited to studio/workspaces. We facilitate connections in and outside the art world, offer hands-on production and technical assistance, and professional development opportunities. Dialogue and exchange happen through talks and other public programs, which take place at our Brooklyn location: a creative hub for our expanding community of artists, curators, partners, collaborators, and international visitors. We work together with our residents and partners to develop a residency experience that optimizes opportunities while meeting the goals, needs and visions of participating artists and curators. Residencies may focus on research and dialogue rather than on traditional production formats. In addition, to the local New York-based residencies, we offer national and international exchanges, and year-round public programs which cover a broad range of topics at the forefront of contemporary art practice and critical discourse.