Frederik is a Belgium full-time Artist with a part-time job. I noticed his surf paintings and was interested straight away as I had never seen anything like it before. I really like the idea of using a traditional technique to illustrate a more modern activity, rather than the classic portraits and motives we have all got used to over time. I felt there are similarities with Heimat and how we use traditional silhouettes and fabrics re-interpreted for today's life. This was enough for us to chat with Frederik and learn a bit more about him.
Who is Frederik Schnieders ?
Hello, I am a painter from Antwerp, my age is 44. I am passionate about painting, art, surfing, and everything that comes in the neighborhood of new wave and electronica. I love Japanese culture and
history. I also love all things connected with Italian, English, and French vintage fashion.
How would you describe your style of paintings?
I am definitely a figurative painter, and more so leaning towards impressionism or even realism but with a touch of colorful surrealism and expressionism.
What/who inspires your work? Who are your favourite artists?
The renaissance masters, the impressionists, Japanese woodblock print masters from the 16th and 17th century, Gerhard Richter, David Hockney, and Elizabeth Peyton. In the contemporary painter's section that would-be artists like Lou Ros, Gideon Kiefer, Justin Mortimer and Karyn Lions. As to “what” inspires me I would say it's mostly things that I see happening around me in daily life. I take a lot of pictures (with my phone) during the day when I'm out or it could be that friends say like “that could work in a painting”. I have an archive of magazines that constantly grows which functions as my main source of imagery.
Music also plays a big role, when I started painting it was one of the main influences because I would use a lot of sentences and words in my work. But now I will use song titles or parts from lyrics to use in a title
for a painting.
What has drawn you to surfing and skateboarding?
My nephew introduced me to skateboarding at the age of 11, I was immediately hooked and although I don't skate anymore I still have the same stoke as when I started, now I put that passion into the paintings like if you would land a trick and have that ‘wooooow’ feeling. That’s what I want
to have in my work that release of emotion in which the viewer can find a connection and relate too.
Same goes for surfing I was at the seaside in France at the age of 16 and
saw some guys bodyboarding. I wasn’t familiar with the sport but it directly struck me like ”ow I would
like to try this” so there we go, I bought a cheap board and started practicing it with a lot of ups-and-downs, a couple of near drowns and a lot of good memories and beautiful places surfed. Due to painting it was silent for a couple of years but now I am practicing again, and luckily the northsea isn’t that far and we do tend to get a bit of good swell here once in a while.
How has lockdown affected your creative flow and output?
The 3 lockdowns have really benefitted my creative process. I have a part-time job in fashion, which I love doing. But in the end, you are always drawn back to the studio towards the paintings. These isolated phases really put your focus on a higher level, especially because you can plan a couple of weeks of continuous painting ahead which is normally impossible to do. Time gets slowed down which brings peace and self relativization, inner consciousness, and awareness.
Your favourite movie or book tip?
I am reading ‘Barbarian days’ A surfing life by William Finnegan it’s a great epic biography and self monologue on his whole life as a dedicated surfer. Movies are a little more difficult as there are so many good ones both old and new but if I have to choose a favourite from the last couple of years
It would be “Parasite” a film from 2018 by Bong Joon Ho. I would describe it as a beautiful, poetic, funny, and cruel movie about family, survival, and the human condition.
Why should people visit Antwerp?
Antwerp is one of those smaller cities that you can visit in a day or 2 and you can still do a lot (and fun things): We have accumulated a lot of new and very good galleries over the last decade also a lot of young collectives are coming out with very interesting projects and programs this year. The museum of fine arts is finally going to reopen so that's a definite must-go. We have lots of good stores for all your specific tastes in fashion. We are blessed to have a couple of good surf stores in and around Antwerp. If you like thrift stores we also have a couple of nice ones. If you go to the left bank of the river you will find some nice areas to relax and enjoy the sun. Some parks are worth checking, for example
Middelheimpark where you can enjoy a lot of art in the form of installations and sculptures.
Your 3x favourite places to have a drink in Antwerp?
Most of the time its actually nice to go to a place by the riverside and take your drinks with you and enjoy the sunset or go have a picnic or aperowith friends in the park. But ofcourse we have a lot of good places to have a drink it really dependswhat you like. I tend to always go for a good coffee or a nice fresh beer.
Black & Yellow coffeebar owned by Joke is situated at ‘Het eilandje’ where I have my studio at the moment, it’s a very nice place to go and have a coffee or a filter (my personal favourite) and have a chit chat. Its a perfect break after an intense painting session. You are surrounded by the
harbour and also very close to the MAS. . Then soon BAR LEON will reopen, that's a really nice place in my neighborhood with a big open playground in front and a nice menu in drinks and an all-around good vibe. Viggo’s coffee bar is a breeding ground for creative output. Next to nice coffees and a small breakfast Tim the owner manages his own live stream radio which you can compare to a tiny version of NTS, with a lot of different music and collectives passing through. He also provides a platform for young artists to show their work at the coffee bar.
Your 3x favourite places to have a bite in Antwerp?
I don't go out that much to restaurants or for lunch, but if I go then these places are always nice and owned by friends who are really doing a good job out there: “Fons” is a restaurant situated in the center area surrounded by theaters. They have their own gin and rum brand called HenTho, and Thomas the chef brings out some very nice dishes for everyone and they also have a good selection of wines. “Bistro Estelle” is a very nice local fusion restaurant owned by Erwin who himself is a stoked surfer and chef. When you enter the place it's filled with pictures taken on surf trips and every picture has a good story behind it. Love this place and when it opens again you should really go and have a bite there it has a good wine selection. It's around the corner from where I live in Borgerhout.
“Lews” is a breakfast and lunch bar situated in the new south of Antwerp, where you can also find galleries like Everyday Gallery, Sofie van de Velde, and Tim Van Laere. It's a new lunch bar that a friend of mine started during the second lockdown. It serves super good homemade sandwiches, weekly specials (hot dishes), has good coffee, and has a 2 monthly exhibition running with local artists. It's a good place to hang artworks as it's very spacious and has a lot of m2 to play with.
How did you find out about Heimat products and what do you like about them?
I discovered HEIMAT through Instagram, and because of my affinity with vintage knitwear, I connected with the simple and strong old skool sailor like approach in which quality comes first. I am a big fan of clothes that follow a line of heritage.
Any future plans you can let us know about?
Sure. Lots of good things are happening this year During the summer months I will have my second show at the HAVEN surf stores in Belgium, one in Antwerp and one smaller version in Knokke at the seaside.
We are working on a collab long sleeve teeshirt that will see the light soon with the opening of the show, which is called “A simple flow”.
Then in September, I will have a solo show at a very nice clothing store ZUS in Brussels, I liked the idea to take the paintings out of their normal habitats like a gallery or art space and put them closer to the people like in a more social context. Everybody shops so it's nice to make this dialogue happen. I will exhibit a selection of portraits from 2017 up to new and also a selection of new paintings that i am currently working on.
Furthermore, we also have a collective called BREEDLIJN and we are working on new group shows for 2022 with interesting new and upcoming artists from all artistic backgrounds.