Creatives are given a stage in MASTERS GALLERY where 3 masterpieces from their repertoire are shown. The works they have chosen themselves intrigue, move, inspire... A special explosion of color fits perfectly with Roel Aarts Design Studio. Roel Aarts' art collection is striking and unique and includes beautiful butterflies and the most tropical birds.Image: Roel Aarts
Text: Mical Joseph

Spreading Colours

“My works started with this collection. I had a number of frames with butterflies at home. Fascinated by the colors, shapes and the realization that these flutters have been flying around on this earth for about 160 million years, I decided to do more with them than just admire them behind a piece of glass. The mythical stories, the colors, the anatomy and what it is that fascinates people about these butterflies were my source of inspiration. Initially I started looking at what the possibilities were with these delicate creatures.

In many mythical stories, all kinds of fantasy creatures emerge from butterflies that all have something in common: the drawings and colors of the butterfly are what matter. I thought to myself: let me make an interpretation of these stories, which eventually resulted in the story where the butterfly colors the flowers and plants in nature. That's why I tried to recreate the colors as faithfully as possible. It takes a lot of time to mix colors with pearlescent substances to create the effect of the millions of scales that a butterfly has on its wings. After much trial and error, I have found a method that comes very close to reality and with which I can imitate these colors. All this ultimately resulted in the collection called: Spreading Colours.”

Butterfly Burst

“Because I spend a lot of time coloring flowers in combination with butterflies, my collection of special butterflies has grown. At that time I also made commissioned butterfly domes and increasingly larger works with about 15 to 20 butterflies in a dome. When I received an order to make a work entirely according to my own hand in a large antique bell jar, I started making larger art items. I took a base of about 35 different butterflies in blue and white tones and built them up using an ingenious system of brass rods into what I call the Butterfly Burst. I have already produced this several times, but always in different color combinations, because I never want to produce the same item twice. The Butterfly Burst gave rise to the idea of ​​producing complete three-dimensional items. This is how the large items such as the Butterfly Bomb and the Butterfly Cube were created. These are all items that require a lot of work, but it is also a lot of fun to produce them.”

Smiling Scars

“After making items with butterflies, I wanted to broaden my horizons with birds and a few mammals. Not so much to place at home in my studio, but rather as art-related items. In my opinion, many taxidermy items are produced as a 'natural setting'. But my aim is to make them a little more modern. For example: a peacock or crowned crane not on a branch, but on a beautiful, sleek metal column, which currently matches ideally with modern steel frames and door styles. The Fantasy Feathers collection, with birds with multiple wings, larger tails or special colors, is also part of this.

For the last edition of Masters of LXRY I made a beautiful zebra as a shoulder mount. I was able to obtain a beautiful zebra skin from a wild life park in Africa. This zebra has been attacked several times by felines and has managed to survive for a long time. The scars are still on his neck and that makes him who he is. That's why I couldn't resist putting on this zebra with a big smile together with my taxidermist, literally! Not entirely anatomically possible, but I am very happy with the end result. The item has therefore been appropriately named Smiling Scars.

I now produce items for various major interior architects, celebrities, designers and interior design stores. They now know where to find me from Finland, Austria and Italy, which of course I really like. What I do find extremely important is that the animals I work with have not been killed for the benefit of my work. The animals I use come from special zoo breeders, private collections or zoos. Here the animals died naturally, for control purposes or to prevent overpopulation.”