Pete Hollow was born on Texel, the biggest Wadden island- situated in the north of the Netherlands. He and his younger twin sister were number 10 and 11 (last) in a traditional Catholic farmer family. From a very young age he would go out and trade the hustle and bustle of the always busy family home for the peace and quiet of the island’s unspoiled nature and discover a completely new, miniature world through his magnifying glass.
Inspired and intrigued he gave his creativity the free hand and started drawing and sculpting insects and flowers. He drew with black pencil only which made his Primary School teacher wonder whether he could see colour at all. Even when Pete was handed colour pencils only, he would mix the colors until they went grey.
Fast forward more than 40 years and a lot of things have changed: Pete’s incredible technique (for the better) and his health (for the worst). However, his love for flowers and insects and black-and-white has always stayed with him.
In his twenties Pete moved to Amsterdam to study, and build a career as a painter and photorealistic illustrator. Hollow was one of the founders of very successful and internationally renowned studio that worked with many different creatives on numerous art- and commercial projects.
In 2001 Hollow was struck by a rare autoimmune disease, that destroyed most of the function in his hands, disabling his arms and legs partially.
PH : “In my darkest hour, I got so sick that I flatlined for 15 minutes. A month later I woke up from a coma, paralyzed from the neck down and breathing through a ventilator. At that stage, you’re at a point you have to let everything go entirely. You’re not in charge anymore and life comes 1 day at a time.”
From this moment PH had to re-invent himself to fight his way back into the life he loved and lived up till then. Through the years he succeeded in this, with ups and downs, and help from his family and friends.
Why flowers (still)?
“For me flowers are a metaphor for My physical life, the stages I went through.
In a relatively short time span they go from a seed to a bud, a flower and then fade and die…
I lived a similar, short cycle in which the fading-part came way too soon, fortunately I never got to the final stage –just yet.
My drive to create and portray and share my vision is stronger than ever” -as can be witnessed by his extensive and very emotionally gripping work on his latest flowers series.