Painting archive: Maria Sluierhof (2010)

Maria Sluierhof

At the start of 2011 the figure Maria Sluierhof came into life. She operates as an alter ego.
Her history as a daughter in the 5th generation of Dutch emigrants around 1845 hits the core of my own existence and is a model for the situation of migrants in NL at the moment. Fleeing from economic but mainly religious reasons they founded villages like Pella, Holland and Zealand mainly in Michigan and Iowa.
This background is still visible in those places today.

I invented Maria Sluierhof through Google Earth. In the ‘streetview mode’ you can drive through the village and so I discovered to my great surprise that there is even a Vermeer Road. Of course I located her birth house there. She offers possibilities to make paintings with the theme sexuality in a personal way but with some distance. The alter ego emphasizes the dialogue about it.

Sluierhof: ‘All those prudish ladies…that’s not what I personally want’.

Sluierhof: ‘Al die preutse dames….daar zit IK persooonlijk niet op te wachten’

Since 1993 I work with the image of women and I often played with the image of women wearing headscarfs. In the beginning of 2011 I created Maria Sluierhof as an alter-ego. She is the daughter in the 5th generation of an emigrant of Holland/Zealand in 1834. As an American woman her image is completely changed since the time her village Pella in Iowa is founded by her grandgrand… father.


Teaspoons were used for charity purposes. Pella is a very Christian village with many churches. I bet they sold teaspoons to restore one of the churches.