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Dutch “life-artist” Theo Mackaay colours the world

Meet Dutch artist Theo Mackaay. He is known as the sculptor of the iconic Golden Calf sculpture, the prize of the most prestigious Dutch film awards. But Theo did a whole lot of more things than making beautiful sculptures. The Utrecht-based life artist is indeed passion and versatility in ultima forma. While Theo just turned 72, he is an artist for over 40 years en still not done creating. What’s next? Theo’s answer: “I still want to go into depth with the things I’m working on.”

Limitless versatility

From his childhood on, Theo has always been busy creating. As a sculptor he got very skilled in taking off the edges, but in his youth it was sometimes living on the edge. In high school, the drawing teacher said to him that Theo should start drawing again to find balance. –

At 19 Theo started boxing. In the ring he learned to stand his ground, when he got beaten up again and again. But because he kept on pushing, not long after Theo became a regional champion in parts of the Netherlands. Never give up became his motto and a common thread in his life. He always thought of the strengths he possesses and used them in all of his work. “I have no limits, you know. But in this world, you can’t be limitless.” So he turned his limitless into an enormous passion and versatility.

In his art works, the edges, passion and versatility all come together. “Between Utopia and the gutter… there’s a lot of space. But both of them should be visible in your art work, because everyone can recognise something in it. ” While Theo became a pro boxer, he started his studies in sculpturing. And his talent got recognised. His career as an artist took of and in 1980 he designed and created the Golden Calf, the sculpture that accompanies the Dutch film prizes.

In the meantime Theo also became a musician, something he manages to keep on doing until today. In the 70’s he worked together with the famous Dutch singer Lenny Kuhr and after he became the lead singer and composer of a socially critical group called ‘Braak’. In 2016 his latest album released, called with heaven you never know. Boundless versatility once again rings true for Theo, who, besides being a boxer, sculptor, painter and musician, also helps people as a ‘healer’.

Creating beauty for ever

Being 72, Theo is not the youngest of us, but he doesn’t care too much. “You will laugh your ass of when you see this old fool working out in the gym.” He doesn’t feel so old, no, he feels passion and enthusiasm to keep on doing what he has always been doing.

“Because I always remained a child and kept my enthusiasm… Where you can actually be unrestrained in your imagination…. …without all kinds of restrictions. The artist’s mind is always already further along when something is finished. They never look at what has happened, but at what is going to happen. At least I do.”

So Theo feels blessed that he’s an artist and is able to create and surround him with beauty everyday. “If you cannot look at beauty – and there is a whole lot of no beauty – you are poisoning yourself.” He is always looking forward: he still wants to go into depth with the things he creates. When he is into something, there is always that one moment that he recognises beauty. And this ‘heavenly’ moment is superlative to everything.

Let Theo Mackaay inspire you

Utrecht based Theo is versatility in ultima forma; guided by his extreme passion he did a lot of different things in his life. And he is not done yet: he wants to go in depth with all the upcoming things he's going to create. Are you motivated to unleash your creativity? Have a look at Theo's webiste (Dutch) and let him inspire you.

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