Arie Hellendoorn


Arie Hellendoorn interrogates the conventions of portraiture and representations of the human form into paintings that defy conventional readings. He is interested in the process of sampling and constructing portraits from found images located in books, photographs and the Internet, creating a confrontation between the original meaning of the images and their new context. As a result, the paintings themselves as objects/surfaces become meaningless and it is up to the viewer to imbue them with meaning, which will inevitably transform over time with changing audience and context.

“The paintings begin with a very basic line drawing in order to give me some structure to work with, then there is a process of improvisation where I begin to build up the layers of paint and mark making – clusters of lines, dots, blobs, until I have covered the entire surface with image. All of my drawing and testing is done directly onto the surface of the painting, which allows the work to evolve over time. I am actively making decisions throughout the development of the painting right up until the work is finished.”

Arie Hellendoorn was born in the Netherlands and is currently New Zealand based in Wellington. He has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions throughout New Zealand since 2003, and had his first Australian solo exhibition in 2013 where he has exhibited consistently since. He has been featured in Art Collector magazine (Australia) on multiple occasions and in Art New Zealand magazine in 2015. Works are held in public and private collections throughout Australia and New Zealand including the Wallace Arts Trust and the Wellington City Council collection. 

Selected Media.

  1. Arie Hellendoorn: Exploring the Human Form
    Art Collector, interview with Emily Cones-Browne
  2. Strive Towards Your Destiny
    Jessica Scott, City Gallery, Wellington catalogue