Philip Akkerman, 2009 no. 31, 2009. Oil on panel. Direct Art Collection
Every painting in Philip Akkerman’s vast body of work, which consists of more than 3,000 individual pieces made over the past 30 years, is amazingly a self-portrait. That’s all the artist has painted since he starting his professional career in 1981. The paintings are only made in three small to medium sizes using the Old Masters technique of oil and tempura on prepared panels—a highly conceptual process for such figurative work. Viewing more than 400 of the paintings in the exhibition Akkermania at the Kunsthal Rotterdam, one sees an incredible progression as the artist grew worldlier and his skills increased. The old adage that “practice makes perfect” is rightly visible in his continuously clever work.