What David Bowie taught me …

What David Bowie taught me …

by Rineke de Jong, 26-3-2016

Wat David Bowie mij leerde

25-3-2016 I visited the exhibition “David Bowie IS” in the Groninger Museum. Too bad he’s gone, David Bowie died too young. From the beginning I have been a fan of his music and performance. The album “Aladdin Sane” I bought because of the extraordinary cover. In 1980, I made, inspired by a small black and white newspaper photo, the painting below. That was in the period when I did not came out with my painting. At the exhibition you can see the original costume.

Wat David Bowie mij leerde

Ashes to Ashes, 1980 by Rineke de Jong

A great spectacle. Videos on small and super large screens, posters, paintings made by him, all kinds of writings, clothing and so on. All texts placed by each item by the museum I read. Immediately I became aware of one thing: A lot of things in my life have not gone well. I’ve always worked hard, with a lot of dedication and passion. And yet it has not brought me what it might have been. A number of things confronted me hard inside. Several conditions must be fulfilled for having success.

What David Bowie taught me …

First, it is very important that you are born in a harmonious family and in a loving, caring and secure environment. This is the cradle of making good choices in your life. David Bowie had that luck. Also, I think if you had a loving youth you better know your way around in life. You can also better pass it on. Everything grows and matures so much better on good ground.

Second. Hold the wire. Keep your goal in mind.

Talent and perseverance are apparently not enough. A good start in life is the key ingredient to succeed. Damage can be cosmetically eliminate or hidden, but it always remains, even if you don’t see directly or if it is invisible to the uninitiated. This applies to things, but also for humans. For example, a beautifully repaired valuable thing though decreases in value, as it has been repaired. The utility is as usual, but still … you know it’s not as it was, as it used to be. This also applies to people. Maybe even more!

For me that is very much the case. I’m a champion in choosing the wrong partner. There is no line in what I do. Despite all the praise I get for my art, I don’t know very well how to put my art and myself in the spotlight. Uncertainty that stems from my earliest childhood is to blame. All my attempts to get rid of these voices in my head have failed so far. I am shy by nature and very trusting. An advantage or a disadvantage? I can only say that I clearly learned to survive. But there is a big difference between surviving and living. The difference for me is emptiness. To visualize it: the stove in my house is not fired, it is always cold inside. I see it in my paintings. In each period, after each stumbling, raising and starting again. From the time when I was not alone, until now. It struck me recently that in each painting only one character is present, whereas previously there were more. I also see a change in color and atmosphere, after each change in my life. Painting is an unconscious reflection of yourself. Painting shows your vulnerability and your strenght. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.

Despite that I’ve immersed myself in the world of David Bowie and enjoyed it, I was for me a very sad experience. I’m glad I was there, because of him the puzzle pieces of my life fell for me in place, at once. Therefore, I bought the book “David Bowie IS”. Reading again and experiencing again is important. Thanks Groninger Museum and David Bowie.



Mythologie is vaak de bron van inspiratie. Ik probeer het goddelijke en het menselijke te verenigen in mijn schilderijen. Paarden en andere dieren, maar ook groente en fruit vindt u terug in mijn schilderijen. Portretten maak ik in opdracht. Regelmatig neem ik deel aan exposities nationaal en internationaal en heb vele prijzen gewonnen. Mijn werk is gepubliceerd in diverse uitgaven en aangekocht in binnen- en buitenland.


  1. Dank je wel Rob, ik ben onder de indruk van je reactie!

  2. Dag Rineke dit is precies hoe ik jou ken.
    Door je duidelijker uit te spreken, en te profileren,
    zoals ook NU weer —
    zal de parel die zich in het verborgene,
    uit een onvolkomenheid heeft ontwikkeld
    kunnen glanzen en inspireren!

    Gemis, verlies en verdriet zijn dan
    een onmisbare bron van groei!

    een zegen zelfs!

    Een krachtig aspect van je persoonlijkheid en eigenheid !!


Comments are closed