‘Dick Verdult – It Is True But Not Here’ is a documentary about the enigmatic artist and cult musician Dick Verdult (Eindhoven, 1954), known in Latin America as Dick El Demasiado.
The career of Eindhoven-based artist and musician Dick Verdult spans decades. He is seen as an outsider, as ‘the last Dada-ist’. But what we experience as elusiveness turns out to be quite controlled and firstly funded on very personal experiences from his childhood as a ‘Philips child’ in Latin America. Rather than experiencing globalism as a problem, Verdult is like a cheerful, transcultural mutant. We see how, at the age of 60, he has become a cult musician in South America, Russia and Japan and is increasingly recognised internationally as a visual artist. This documentary explores Verdult’s multidisciplinary, international art practice. We see Verdult at work in his studios in Bergeijk (The Netherlands) and Calanda (Spain) and on tour in Peru, Colombia and Argentina. The film is filled with humor, but there are serious issues at stake in these increasingly xenophobic times.
Dick Verdult is an artist and musician who defies categorisation. His work is humorous and elusive. Reviewers use words such as ‘unsettling’, ‘unfathomable’, and ‘illogical’. This documentary demonstrates Verdult’s versatility. He builds installations, paints, writes, and makes music. Whereas many artists try to be recognizable, Verdult uses any and all media. He is not part of anything.
Verdult has a thick southern Dutch accent, but switches effortlessly to Spanish, English, or French. He grew up in Latin America as the son of a Philips employee and studied film in Paris in the aftermath of the May ‘68 student revolts. His experiences of various cultures determine his maverick outlook. Being so uniquely familiar with de immense diversity of perspectives, he sees links and curious things where others won’t. Sometimes, his childhood experiences resurface quite directly in his work. Rather than experiencing globalism as a problem, Verdult is a one-man multinational, an experienced and cheerful transcultural mutant.
The documentary shows the various paradoxical sides of Verdult. Although political themes pervade his work he is averse to unequivocal political statements. ‘If you ask me what it’s about, that’s what it’s about.’ Despite the idiosyncratic character of his work, Verdult is not a Martian. He is a family man and surrounds himself with young friends. The strategy for his seemingly ‘deranged’ performances and installations are meticulously planned many months ahead.
The film follows Verdult while he makes music and produces works of art, in his studios in Bergeijk (The Netherlands) and Calanda (Spain) and on tour in Peru, Colombia and Argentina. His unbridled creativity and his use of any and all media prove to be an inspiration to younger people.