In his works, Raymond Lemstra pursues a clever combination of realism and naivety. Swapping modern computer technology for old school staples like pen, paper and eraser, he came up with the latest Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape cover "Precious Selection"
Pen and pencil have been the Amsterdam-based artist’s preferred tools since early childhood. And although Lemstra’s favourite boyhood motifs - transformers, flying cars, fighter jets and dinosaurs - soon gave way to less playful themes, this overall love of illustration remains a clear constant in Raymond’s life. Later at art school, he enjoyed flexing his talents, free experimentation and discovering new options for vibrant visual storytelling.
After college, Raymond Lemstra initially joined the theatre troupe PIPS:lab on tour, followed by a stint in broadcast design and animation. Soon, however, Lemstra began to miss the immediacy of pen and paper, the tactile elements of his art. Unafraid to change direction, he took the plunge and decided to earn his keep as a full-time analogue artist. Nowadays, Raymond only reaches for digital tools to finalise the colouring of his sweet and surreal protagonists.
As part of this u-turn back to the roots, Raymond Lemstra loves to scout imaginary realms, giving equal scope to childish curiosity and grown-up maturity. After all, in our mundane, grown-up lives most of us have lost this sense of naïve surprise and indescribably joy of first discovery - making these moments and emotions all the more precious - a fleeting magic Raymond Lemstra sets out to rekindle with his works.
Although pared down, Raymond’s futuristic pencil drawings accentuate particular details. His deliberate, selective perception and emphasis distorts the motif - and draws our eyes to the body and face of his distinctive everyday heroes. To this end, his work thrives on the contrast and interplay of reduction and complexity, chance and reason, lack and perfection to create instants of visual tension that engage the viewer’s curiosity. Forms become charged with feelings that lend the final result a very special and personal note.
To anchor himself in reality, Raymond Lemstra loves to go on long walks or - an Amsterdam staple - cycling trips with his friends. Further inspiration stems from old photographs, new music or discussions and meetings that add extra shape and colour to his visual and visionary imagery.
For a close-up view of Lemstra’s characteristic characters, head to Paris-based gallery LJ where the artist will have his works displayed as part of a group show very soon. In addition, Raymond Lemstra will once again join the Berlin-based Pictoplasma festival in 2012.
For your copy of the latest Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape compilation “Precious Selection”, featuring ten brand new songs by up-and-coming musicians, please click here to claim your free download.
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