Mels Sluyser
About Mels Sluyser

I am a biochemist by profession working in cancer research but at about the age of 40 I felt the artistic urge to become a painter. Initially, my oil paintings depicted mainly satirical themes, sometimes of a sexual nature. The interplay between people and the irony of human existence were an important source of inspiration for me. In the course of time I thus created a considerable collection of paintings which where exhibited in a number of galleries and reaped a great deal of public applause. A selection from these works can be found on this website.

Some years ago however the subject matter of my paintings changed dramatically. This happened spontaneously, as it were. Under my hands canvasses filled themselves with Jewish themes. I am a Jew but never before had I so felt the need to give shape to Jewish Life in such a way. Since I am doing this I feel that I have come home. As the years go by I have felt my Jewish roots ever more strongly and feel the urgent need to express this in my paintings.

It probably has to do with the fact that I am the son of Meyer Sluyser, the celebrated Dutch author who after the Second World War wrote a series of books about the old Jewish neighborhood of Amsterdam. In these books my father strove to preserve the memory of the original Jewish characters who populated his pre-War life. There was a lot of poverty and misery, but the solidarity and the typical Jewish humor created an atmosphere which now can only be remembered with nostalgia. That joy of people with their simple “Menschlichkeit”, that is also the soul of my paintings. That Jewish life of years past, I hope that my work can recover at least a bit of that and preserve it for later.

More about Mels >> Mr. Monday / A Plan of Indescribable Greatness