The optimistic bronze sculptures of Dutch artist Miep Maarse are a feast for the eyes. Dancing elephants, bathing hippos and playing bears characterize her oeuvre. The images are optimistic in tone and message. Through her images she shows us her positive view of the world and humanity.
She shapes her sculptures in a professional and original way. The animals have recognizable human characteristics, which radiate great charm and tenderness. At first glance, this seems simple and charming. The opposite is true. You must have studied man and his behavior extremely well in order to make this translation. A hippopotamus - not a gentle animal at all - transforms into a friendly big lug who dances, dives or acts like an English lord. What is special is that Maarse finds her images so natural that people do not immediately realize that what they are actually doing is not possible.
Almost casually, Miep Maarse asks the obligatory question: "How realistic is realistic?" Everyone will immediately admit that her images are not realistic. But what are they then? Surrealistic maybe? Strangely enough, it is obvious to place them in that movement, but everyone feels that something is not right. After all, with surrealism we immediately think of bizarre situations and alienation, while Miep Maarse's animal sculptures radiate something familiar and domestic.
Due to the metamorphosis that her animals undergo, they enter the realm of fabulous creatures. The animal sculptures are liberating because the depicted animals have different codes of conduct than the people who imitate them.
Miep Maarse received her education at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.