Art has always been the no-holds-barred playfield of mad geniuses. Towards the end of the 19th century, the world was warming up towards the madcap of avant-garde. With the coming of Dadaism, pushing boundaries in art became a norm. Breaking rules was the new rule. At the turn of the 20th century, artists went looking for that which would not be considered suitable or worthy of art. The discarded, the ugly, the unique began to be slowly incorporated into artwork. It was at this moment that mixed media art was born. Assemblages, collages, cut-outs, prints, layered painting all came under what comprised mixed media art. Pablo Picasso’s 1912 Still Life With Chair Painting is considered to be the very first collage. Everyone from Marcel Duchamp to Henry Matisse has since then contributed to mixed media art. When it comes to unbounded artistic expression, mixed media artwork steals the show.
Cut to the 21st century. A little girl is born in Emerald Isles, Netherlands. She grows up to be a freewheeling artist drawing inspiration from the amber tulips fields, picturesque woody paths, towering windmills and clear blue skies of her birthland. Then one fine day, her tryst with the drink of the gods began. As she poured the amber fluid in a glass, gently swirling it around, she slowly fell in love with it. In no time, whisky became the second love of her life. And then she thought, if whisky were to meet art it’d be a match made in heaven. And lo! She started thinking of ways to use her favourite drink in her works of art. It didn’t take long for her to figure out that whisky could flow on her canvas, alongside colours. She, Monique Tromp, began this extraordinary art expedition of ‘whisky-painting’.
Tromp channeled the bohemian spirit of the avant-garde in her paintings. Ash and charcoal have traditionally been used by many painters. Tromp took it a notch higher on the quirk factor by using sugar, coffee and even chocolate in her paintings. And, as you might’ve guessed, she did not stop at that. Whisky, grass and grains feature in her paintings too. To add some madness to the method (or, art) Monique Tromp decided to ditch the canvas for whisky barrels. Tromp not only uses whisky in her paintings, but she channels every little nuance of the nectar of the gods into her art work. Unusual as it may sound, Monique has created series after series of paintings on whisky, with whisky.
Monique’s paintings are mixed media works. Acrylic, metallic-lac, black ink are some of the commonplace bases she uses in her paintings. This in combination with prints, images, corks add unique texture to artworks. Till date, she has paid tribute to Islay, single malts and Japanese whisky. Each series is defined by the use of whiskies specific to the region she choose to ode. That apart, Monique has also taken inspiration from popular culture. Her repertoire of whisky painting includes portraits, abstract art and cityscapes as well.
If art is about unleashing sparks of creative fervor, Monique Tromp’s brush strokes capture the essence of imagination and inspiration. Art’s tryst with whisky couldn’t have a better expression than in the ingenious Monique.