artist and therapist

From 2006 to 2016 Bart Drost worked as a creative therapist at the Vincent Van Gogh Institute in Venray, at the clinic for neuropsychiatry. Its task: to get patients moving and thus to collect material that could contribute to a thorough observation and finally arrive at a correct diagnosis in a team. In his studio in Nijmegen he painted the portrait gallery Bob, Bep and Bas.                                                                            


bill, betsy, bob and the others, a series portraits. 2006 - 2014

2006 2014 Bart Drost depicts portraits of patients who he has accompiend as a Visual therapist. The patient then has left behind the therapy for some. There will be no meeting between model and artist again. It is a reconstruction in retrospect: How does that painting work? From the reminder to the patient, gained during the therapy sessions Drost makes in Indian ink the portrait on bitumen paper of 100 x 100 cm. The portrait is then to built further in black and white. The portrait will be accompanied by elements of the work pieces the patient has made during the therapy sessions. Painting the portraits has adopted the form of a project: meanwhile, there are more than 140 portraits realised.


museum dr. guislain - gent (belgium) - 2007/2008

'Bill, Betsy, Bob and the others'

A portraits Cabinet of Bart Drost

The Vincent Van Gogh Institute in Venray has teamed with Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent a booklet issued with portraits that Visual artist/therapist Bart Drost made of clients who were included in the clinic for Neuro psychiatry. The portraits are 'reconstructions of encounters with patients'. They seem to hear together despite all their horrors. And they seem crazy: If you knew any better you would think they were drawn by a patient. A patient with real talent, though, and those are rare. The portraits are all different, all black gray but with colorful attributes that make them exciting. Almost nobody looks cheerful. One tail off or the gaze is directed inward. There are big eyes of fear. It was therefore for Bart a statement every time to get us our creative. I remember of the visits to the creative therapy: Bart who you always cheerfully gave a hand, the cabinets with materials, the load with large sheets of thin paper which I often not more knew to draw than a male who climbed a mountain, and the round table where the most sat. Lies* who painted figurines with precision, Henk faithful coloring his Mandalas, Anja who could learn a little to paint with watercolor and constantly yeld for Barts aide, and Bart who constantly came on with ideas and materials when someone threatened to get bogged down and the head lowered again or did polar bears in the studio or began to cry ...

 There is something wrong with these portraits. I have spent almost five months in the clinic for Neuropsychiatry and I don't recognize anybody. And I have also not heard one and never met something crazy silly. There were depressed women, as that woman with that dead Bird on her head. (There is a popular booklet on depression with the title "I see each death bird ', but so it even can be worse.) The breasts at the women of Bart hang a little bit, but when they are alone, the apples of Orange and radiates the handsome woman. And then there's the negress who paints with the mouth: the brushes where the colors are almost splash around. I've unfortunately never met her. You are looking for similarities and I can not find them. Only Bart has seen them. Yet these portraits tell  more about the patients than the rich words in diagnoses that they take home and will be in the files that accompany them when they carried away. Of course they are scared, sad, desperate, or 'just'. Or sometimes they hear voices.

I'm already more than a year away from Venray and don't want to think about it too much, but this particular booklet I store - after all I've torn apart - as good reminder. And, they say, that I am also in itself: that male with that glasses and that separation that death for themselves, looking to the extreme. On page 16. Maybe I am though. Now again I can laugh a little. It was still a good time at Bart, if you had been but not that sick.

* The names are fictitious.


unter uns - maxhaus - düsseldorf (germany) - 2010


mindmap - about art & psychiatry venray - 2012

During May-October 2012 there was in Northern Limburg city Venray the 'Mindmap-a manifestation of art and Psychiatry'.

In the areas of the Vincent van Gogh Institute Servaes and Anna were works of various (inter) national artists. In the former living room of Building J Bart Drost showed 60 portraits of patients  he had in creative therapy sessions. It is particularly now that this chronicle of the clinic for Neuropsychiatry is shown at the site of the Institute, where the encounters took place between artist and patient. For the first time also the white objects, that are derived from work pieces that the patients have created, are hereby in  the show.

the making of portrait 128 - 2011


labeling identity - amsterdam - 2016

The question arises what determines a person's identity: the deviation, the disease diagnosed? Or is it the way you / this one about?

Throughout the duration of the project 'labeling identity' all the portraits were present. Sixty-four were hanging on the walls, the remaining hundred or so twenty portraits remained in the storage box. On this occasion it was
exhibited in a small room on trestles, without lid .

In the background you could hear a voice monotonous speaking a series of more or less well-known psychiatric disorders.


registration afterwards from the performance 'my dear boy'


art therapist - van gogh institute Venray - 2004/2014


Posters Mindmap Vincent Van Gogh Instituut Venray

Drost provided some of the portraits from the series 'Bob, Bep, Bas and the others' for PR material at the presentation of the Clinic for Neuropsychiatry in the Mindmap manifestation.


bob, bep, bas en de anderen - een portrettenkabinet


Tabé Venray!


Bart Drost

free artist

Graafseweg 183a
6531ZR Nijmegen
The Netherlands