'La Kôko'& Reina de Haan
Born in The Netherlands, may 13 - 1958. Mother of two daughters, wife of painter Ernst Merhottein (www.ernstmerhottein.com).
I have always made drawings on every piece of paper. Started painting when I was about 20, first oilpaint, afterwords acrylics. From about 1990 I was active in the art world of Haarlem / Holland, having exhabitions on various locations, but in 2008 I mooved to another city. I started working with leather, making bags and phone/iPad cases. Due to the financial crisis, Ernst and I mooved to Turkey in 2014. I started painting again, as well as working with wood.
In The Netherlands I desinded handbags, smartphone- and iPad covers. Unfortunately I could not continue this work in Turkey, but I might take it up again some day. La Kôko is the name of my business.
Left the Netherlands (17) for Athens/Greece. Mooved to Rome/Italy a year later. Stayed in Vienna/Austria for a while till I met my first husband in Holland (21). I worked for the NGO 'PLAN Netherlands' for 10 years, took care of my childeren, assisted my husband in our restaurants and bars, until we separated in 2004.
I met Ernst in 1980. We got an affair in 2007 and married in 2010. We were both members of the City counsel of Velsen for the Green Party from 2010-2014. After losing jobs and everything else we had worked for during a lifetime, we left for Turkey by car with three dogs and an old cat. In September 2016 we got an apartment in Holland again and we now change address every few months. Unfortunately, the Dutch home is to small for any creative explosion. We will move to our third Turkish house in a few weeks, finally with a lot of space to work hard!
Graphic School MTS, Amsterdam
Private lessons, teacher of Academia di Belle Arti, Rome
Vrije Academie Kennermerland, Netherlands
Nevertheless, I see myself primarily as autodidact.