Master's student Painting Bobbi Essers wins Royal Award for Modern Painting 2023

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Today, the Royal Award for Modern Painting 2023 was awarded to second-year master's student Painting Bobbi Essers. The award has provided a platform for young, promising artists since 1871. The two other winners are Ricardo van Eyk and Thierry Oussou.

This year, 495 artists submitted works. From these, the jury chose 15 nominees, including two Frank Mohr Institute (FMI) students. In addition to Bobbi, FMI student Painting Eddy Eustache was also nominated for the prestigious award.

After the presentation, the King opened the exhibition featuring the works of the winners and nominees. The exhibition will take place at the Royal Palace Amsterdam from October 7 to November 5, 2023.

Bobbi Essers, 'Knock it all down’, 145 x 165 cm, oil paint on canvas

Uit het juryrapport

'Bobbi Essers graduated from University of the Arts, Utrecht in 2022 and is competing for the Award for the first time. The jury was impressed by her ability to zoom in on different moments of her life and those of her friends and how she weaves these scenes together – in the manner of a collage – into a disconcerting composition. Her paintings are not portraits, but they are ‘overlaps of different moments’, as she says herself. Essers paints body parts in a realistic style. It remains unclear which arm, shoulder or belly belongs to which figure, as the corresponding heads are intentionally left out of the picture. By contrast, the texture of the skin, with splashes of paint serving as birthmarks, is depicted in great detail, giving the viewer a sense of close observation. The jury was impressed by the painterly way in which Essers captures the intimacy between friends – unashamedly and lovingly – and thus admits us to her world with her beloved circle of friends.'

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  • Arts and Culture