TagsUs by Night, design, graphic design
  • this is antwerp

Roosje Klap takes us on a journey through the world of graphic design at Us by Night, a festival in Antwerp for creatives all over the world. Roosje is a graphic artist from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She mainly works in the cultural field. According to Roosje, the most important thing about her artwork is its ability to connect with people.

This is Antwerp: Hi Roosje, what is art to you?

Roosje Klap: “To me, art is communication. Art asks questions. When I create art, I wonder why people do certain things and why they make certain decisions. Why do people vote? Or why don’t people vote? Art questions everything, society and individuals. It makes us stop for a moment and ask ourselves what the hell we are actually doing in this world and why we are doing it.”

TiA: What is your goal as a graphic artist?

Roosje: “I don’t want to make money for the big brands. I want to make a change in the world. As an artist you have a responsibility. I try to move people to take part in society.”

TiA: You’re the head of the graphic department at the KABK art school in The Hague. What’s the most import lesson you teach your students?

Roosje: “I encourage my students to think the way I think. They need to wake up, reflect and take their responsibility as an artist. I teach them to start now. The Mont Blanc (glacier in Swiss) is about to collapse. We’re making such a mess of this world. We can’t wait until tomorrow.”

TiA: When you’re walking through the streets. What inspires you?

Roosje: “Situationism! I got really inspired by a group of French writers. They invented the cadavre exquis with poetry. The idea is that a group of writers writes a poem together. They do this by taking turns in writing a part of the poem. Everything depends on the situation and the person who writes. You can never know what the result will be.

This is also applicable to everyday life. When I go for a walk I like to get lost on purpose. I let my senses guide me. For example, I change my direction when I see the colour red. First, I follow a woman with a red bag until I see the next red object and so on. This creates a different way to discover a city. You can never recreate this route because it is determined by the moment.”

TiA: What’s your connection with Antwerp?

Roosje: “One of my best friends recently moved to Antwerp, so I visit Antwerp regularly. Antwerp gives me such a liberating feeling. I live in Amsterdam, in a tiny house. There is so little space in Amsterdam. It feels like the walls are closing in on me. However, Antwerp is spacious and free. When I look at what my friend can get in Antwerp for the same price, a beautiful three floor apartment, I sometimes wonder what the hell I am still doing in Amsterdam. To me, Antwerp feels like a city where you can create without boundaries. I would love to move there in the future.”

TiA: Who’s your favourite Antwerp-based artist?

Roosje:” My best friend of course, Gilles De Brock. He also creates visual art. Also Ann Demeulemeester has always been a big influence to me. I used to always wear her clothes. It’s impressive how she made the choice to stop designing clothes and started making table wear. And it’s the most beautiful table wear I’ve ever seen. It would be so inspiring to work with her.”


Text by Anella Sepp

Pic by Marijn Smulders



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