Since a couple of years the themes sailing and ships have an important position in his work. Käller: “Actually, I ended up in it by accident: at a certain moment I made, out of nowhere, a painting of my former boat, a beautiful classic. Not only did I enjoy painting it a lot, others appeared to be interested in it so I made some more. That is how the maritime painting gradually developed into a specialisation.” After his studies at, amongst others, the Art Academy in Den Bosch, he initially focused himself on theatre design and production design. “Also in that, water already played a role: I always tried to come up with scenes in which something of water, boats, fishing could be incorporated into the sets.” When in the mid-1990’s, during a period of reflection, he started painting once again, he discovered that there was a substantial amount of interest for his work about yachts. At a certain moment, people began asking him to paint their own boats. That was completely new challenge for the artist. “I noticed that I enjoyed it a lot to paint boats. The contact with the clients is very special, especially because you have a shared passion. That really gives the assignment extra value,” Käller thinks. He especially notices that the fact that he also sails, a part is of his success. “A lot of maritime work is made by artists on the shore.” People who sail like to notice that the painter knows exactly what he is talking about, because he also sails. The funny thing is that I also talk more about sailing and ships with the clients than about the painting that I make for them.”
The contact with shipyards where he ties up the boats is also a source of inspiration for Käller.
“Boat builders are actually also a type of artist. They draw boats; they build a ship and they take risks. They make beautiful things and these similarities make having contact with these people extremely interesting. I come home with enthusiastic stories about the fantastic ships that I have seen. I experience a lot of joy from it.”
Käller doesn’t find it embarrassing that this form of painting is financially very attractive. “At the Art Academy this was of course ‘not done.’ There they argued that we should only paint for ourselves, but now I find it fantastic if people like the work so much that they wish to buy it.”
The way in which the paintings made by Käller are created, is through a mix of painting from his memory and the use of photographs. “I have an extensive archive with image materials. I capture everything: waves, the lines of the sails, movement of the water, spinnakers anything I see. Parts of it I use for various elements in my work.” Käller prefers to work with oil paint, but recently he also works with silk-screen prints. His last project is a piece made especially for the 24-hours race. The silk-screen print conveys the feeling of being there yourself. The bow of a yacht cuts through the water. Through it woven, bulging balloon sails, splashing waves; the whole spectrum of elements is captured. In the background the skyline of Medemblik: finish line of the 24-hours race on the IJsselmeer.
Those who see the piece of art, feel that Käller knows what he is talking about; that he has sailed the race himself. The silk-screen print is printed 250 times in order to enable more people to remember and feel what this race was like.
translation of text: Niki Frencken