I met artist Erik Van Loon in bed.
It’s not what you think! I was in bed though.
To be clear, it was the top of a bunk bed in a Washington D.C. hostel (Capital View). Mr. Van Loon strolled into my mixed gender dormitory style room with his luggage and a smile. Erik is one of those people whose energy precedes them if you know what I mean. If you’ve ever crossed paths with a creative type, then you know exactly what I’m referring too. What can I say; I’m a lover of an artistic soul. I may be a new D.C. import myself, hailing all the way from the other coast, but this former longtime Angeleno is definitely pro the expressive arts.
It was nearly dinner when the tall Dutch man interrupted the conversation between myself and my Cameroon born female lower bunk mate, with his greetings. An introduction that included more than hello. Much more. Less than five minutes later the both of us have already been briefed on why he’s in town. And now you, lucky readers will also become privy to this man’s mission. What’s that you say? Glad you asked. In a nutshell it’s this: He loves D.C. and wants everyone to know about it.
A little back story.
Erik Van Loon is a mass media Dutch artist. For him art = communication. His passion for that communication goes above and beyond the art world. He makes use of mass media options to convey the literal and metaphorical that moves beauty to a step towards inner reflection and self-knowledge generation in a way that best case scenario would illicit increased understanding, exchange, and cooperation among governments, companies and people around the world.
Some of his previously publicized works have included:
A Victim’s Perspective (More info here as well)
Art Unites Europe (Go look at this! Click here its that easy!)
It’s his annual I Will Win series (click the link to learn more about the series, or the video above to learn about the first I Will Win), currently in its ninth year that has bought him back to the Washington metropolitan area. Almost this time last year, (November if you want to be precise) Erik was in our nation’s capital to unveil his eighth I Will Win painting for the NYC Marathon. Which if you remember was cancelled last year because of hurricane Sandy. A first time in 40 years cancellation.
It was then that his D.C. love affair began. A love of the citizens, the cafes, the museums, the riverbanks, the pretty much everything. In the middle all this loving he was fascinated by the gigantic parking lots around Mount Vernon Square. Back in the Netherlands he decided to commemorate his new found love with I LOVE D.C.
His idea for how to do this includes 250 cars (in red and black), a helicopter, photographers, the side of a building, tea, coffee, and Dutch sandwiches for all.
Okay, he had my attention. (What’s a Dutch sandwich…?) Flyer in tow, I followed him out to the dining commons area because when I’m curious the questions pour out of me. If WIFI is available I talk and web search simultaneously. It didn’t take long to become impressed after seeing his past press publications.
If this were a coffee table book jacket blurb documenting his life, I’d give him this quote,
“Mass Media Artist Erik Van Loon is gleefully infectious in his character. His evident gust for spreading love, life, and inciting conversation through art is charming in such a way that it’s no surprise the many who have met him are unable to say no to assisting him in his endeavors.”
His official website reads,
At this moment I am working at two projects in Washington DC and like always I need your help. Let’s do it together again.
Wouldn’t it be great if you share my affection for Washington DC by taking part in I LOVE DC together with 250 car owners?
Well, I didn’t have car to volunteer, but less than 24 hours after meeting him I found myself a pseudo intern of sorts’ criss crossing around town taking up his cause, being a sound board to his in the moment creative promotion brainstorming, and having a lot of fun!
Erik Van Loon, mass media artist, ardent clean water and open water educator / fundraiser (yep—that too!!) economic business degree holder, and provider of Dutch sandwiches, would love your support. He’s seeking it right now. He’ll be in town this month and through next to complete this year’s projects. Refer to his website and Indiegogo campaign, be a part of his conversation.
Keep tabs on Mr.Van Loon via Facebook too!