Biography of Jean Kamps

His life story:

Jean Kamps was born in Ransdaal  (Netherlands) in l938. He became a priest and stayed four years as pastoral worker in Malawi (Africa)., traces of which were to pervade his later work.On his return he decided to leave the church  and go to a College for social work., but social work also proved to be unsatisfactory.

He fell back on himself and graphic art, which he had practiced as early as secondary school.He decided to follow a course  on sculpting in stone for restoration work, he married and had two children.

Special technique:

Jean Kamps has been painting  since 1974, initially with gouache, later with acrylic and finally a combination of acrylic and oil-paint. He paints on glass in the so-called reverse painting technique, which he had witnessed from a Dutch colleague. Since then he has developed his own personal technique to become the unparalleled master of this way of painting in the Netherlands. Pregnant designs and sparkling colours characterize his strongly graphically oriented art.



His style is sober in which composition, structure, pure lines and colours are in balance. His often strictly composed work, sometimes by means of biblical and mythological symbolism, but also drawing from own experience, presents a universal picture of human existence, which is fascinating and flourishing, as well as being threatened.



Besides painting Jean  Kamps has always worked as a sculptor in wood, stone, ceramics and bronze. His education as a stonemason for restoration work  gave him the possibilities to work in Belgian and Irish limestone. He prefers to work  according to the traditional methods, machinery is only used for basic shaping.

Summer is usually sculpting time, because it can be done in the open air. Wintertime is for painting. Craftmanship is very important to Jean Kamps. He prefers to handle himself the total producing process of a work of art. Even the bronze casting is done by himself.


Jean Kamps had many exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad, Amsterdam, Brussels, Hamburg, San Diego, Dallas, Paris, Rome.

He carried out a great deal of commissions for private people, government and companies.


Gold Medal, Trebnje  (Slovenia) 1982.

Van Der Perre Award, Middelburg (Netherlands) l984.

Museum of Naive Art Award, Lasne (Belgium) l987.

Europian Award for Na´ve Art. Morges (Switserland) l990.