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Art

Peter Schuyff is Taking Account of His Greatest Hits

By Eliza Jordan

June 30, 2020

The artist Peter Schuyff has been hunkering down at home in the Netherlands amid the pandemic. Happy to have a break, he’s been keeping himself preoccupied with Netflix, dumplings, and making watercolors based off his greatest hits.

Schuyff spoke with Whitewall about his simple happenings at home, and shared a few photos of what he’s working on in isolation.

WHITEWALL: How are you doing?

PETER SCHUYFF: I’m doing just fine thank you. The tourists are gone, it’s quiet and clean and I have permission to isolate at home. It’s a dream come true. My little house has an epic view of the very center of Amsterdam. It’s usually very crowded. My misanthropy abates with these empty quiet streets. I’ve often lobbied for just one day per year when Amsterdam belongs to us, to me. It’s beautiful like this. And King’s Day was canceled! We were spared that awful nightmare.

WW: What are you listening to, reading, watching?

PS: Netflix. I have other options, but it’s just Netflix in the background. I watched all of “Breaking Bad” again, in the background. I have The Evenings by Gerard Reve next to my bed, but I haven’t touched it.

WW: What are you cooking?

PS: There are these Gyoza dumplings at Albert Heijn—just one and a half minutes in the microwave, some soya sauce, and I’m good for a couple of hours.

WW: How are you staying connected?

PS: I’m not. During the first few days of the lockdown, I called every one, my mother, ex-wives, old friends. It was all so dramatic back then so there was lots to talk about and I’d just returned from the opening of my show at White Cube and wanted to report on that too. I’ve since settled into the isolation. It suits me perfectly. Pajamas, slippers, and airport rules.

WW: How are you staying creative? Are you able to make work at this time?

PS: The White Cube show was paintings from the eighties. It’s already daunting to be confronted with work I made more than thirty years ago, but then to have the world end on the day after the opening I was inclined to take measure. So, I’ve been making watercolor samplers of what the work in the show was about. I’m taking account of my greatest hits. It’s more knitting than painting; Netflix in the background, all day and all night. I suppose I could go to the studio but I’m pretending I can’t. I’m in no hurry for this break to end.

WW: Where are you finding hope or inspiration?

PS: I don’t. Or maybe I make my own. I don’t know. I don’t have much hope although it’s not something I think about much and I’m not sure I understand what inspiration means. Is it something that leads to making something? Or is it something that results from having made something? I suffer the latter though it feels more like compulsive hoarding (these watercolors) than inspiration. Excuse the pun, but hopefully, they will inspire others.

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