Hi I’m Lars, also known as L-Tuziasm, and I live in Zuilen. My studio is located at the Vlampijpateliers also in Zuilen. As the visual artist L-Tuziasm I make paintings of cities. They are cities that have hundreds of other cities in them. Recently a limited edition book – 100 pieces – got printed with the series titled ‘City Trippin’ Urban landscapes.
De stad als inspiratiebron
Utrecht is my main source of inspiration. Buildings get declared monuments, while the other is empty or is rebuilt to fit another purpose, or gets demolished altogether. New construction is built, and thus the skyline of Utrecht transforms. As a tribute to the city, for the past three years I have been making a limited edition picture of the Dom Tower every year. These prints are popular, getting collected, and can be found in many homes across our beautiful Utrecht. My work is also presented at several exhibitions in galleries and spaces for arts. But you might have seen my work outside of four walls. You might have come across a painted fitting doll at the hair dresser Bobby’s, or you might have spotted my stickers of my Utrecht prints while exploring the streets of Utrecht.
I love to see people that are attracted to the city, then go out on an adventure and chase their dreams. Loads of new small restaurants with a different cuisine appear while others disappear just as quickly. Under the smoke of Douwe Egberts coffee spots appear new hangouts – seemingly out of nowhere. This keeps the supply dynamic and so you don’t have to hang at one spot for a long while.
A ‘Broodje Mario’ stays a classic! You get this warm bun at the stall, located at the Oudegracht. And of course you eat it standing on a street corner while watching people go by. When you are looking for a spot to enjoy this ‘Italian Classic’ in Utrecht, drop by for a seat at café de Flater or café De Zaak. These cafes have a ‘bring your own’ concept.
Old buildings that get re-built into new and contemporary spaces fascinate me greatly. For example, locations at Rotsoord, such as restaurant Le:en which is housed in a old garage. Or the restaurant Watertoren, in an old water tower. Buurten is housed in a old factory in Oog en Al. And there are many more examples throughout the city.
When the sun is out, the people of Utrecht migrate to terraces and one of the many parks in the city. The Julianapark is my backyard but the Griftpark, Lepelenburg, Wilhelminapark are also perfect spots to hang for a while. Don’t forget to bring drinks, some snacks or go all out and light a bbq. Don’t feel like going through all the effort? Maybe Strand Oog in Al is the spot for you on a summer’s day.
Alternatives to vacancy
Even I shop at large store chains – but due to loads of empty buildings – new concepts arise, such as pop-up stores. This development also offers a more dynamic supply in the city. Because authenticity and crafts – which gain traction there – are regulated markets where artists, creative entrepreneurs, and small labels can present themselves, this becomes a great opportunity to buy something unique and community supportive. Shops such as Hutspot also offer this possibility.
Even with sex shops, massage parlors, businesses for a night snack, and speciality shops from different cultures – this street still has a raw character and is frequently in the news because of dubious practices and business that have to close their doors due to orders from the municipality. At the same time, you see there is plenty of positive development going on as well. The neighborhoods around the Straatweg are in demand, and in a few years this could be just one of the new lively streets of Utrecht.
Boating in Utrecht
When you view the city from the canals you get a totally different perspective of Utrecht. You spot things you will not see when only walking the streets – so grab a boat and admire the old facades, wharfs, bridges and carved lantern consoles. Try a beautiful long trip via the Weerdsluis over ‘de Vecht’ to the ‘Loosdrechtse plassen’.
Utrecht offers loads of festivals, which many take place at historical and special locations such as Werkspoorkathedraal, the Forts, and the former Wolvenplein prison. But there is also nightly fun at parties like ‘Stekker’ in the old expedition tunnel below Hoog Catherijne.
There are several museums and galleries in Utrecht, and with a museum annual pass you can wander around the Museum quarter for days. But if you want to see work by Utrecht artists, then you should visit open studios organised by galleries. It is also often possible to make an appointment to visit a gallery.