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Van Genk’s Utopia and the Greyness of Existence

Willem van Genk is Holland’s most prominent outsider artist. He lived his life as a recluse in a small flat in the city of The Hague, fending off intruding bandits with the power of his paintings, collages, drawings and writings, with the hundreds of decorated raincoats he collected and, last but not least, with the miniature trolleybus terminal situated in his living room. In creating these works van Genk little by little gained the power he needed to exist amongst his fellow men. He even transformed himself into King of All Stations and Director of the Orchestra of Coburg, rising high above his original station of insignificant nobody. Van Genk and his artistic productions grew together in harmony. Now, living in a home and separated from the body of his work, van Genk himself slowly deteriorates, while his work gains ground in the art world. Future commentators, searching for truth and meaning, must never lose sight of the original indivisible unity of the man and his work.