2001 2 paintings for the ING Sofia branch, Sofia, Bulgaria
"Sofia Branch", 1.50 - 1.50 m. acrylic on canvas, 2001 (collection ING)
"Bulgarian Blue", 1.50 - 1.50 m. acrylic on canvas, 2001, (collection ING)
"Sofia Branch" painting  explained:
Vasil Levski (1837 - 1873)
Country manager Peter Rolls
Former Communist Party House (Sofia)
Russian Church (Sofia)
Coin 5 euro cent
Chief Operating Officer Kees de Jong     
The Banya Bashi Mosque (Sofia)
Dutch Lady (poster for dairy products in shopwindow Sofia)
Herder (Bulgarian woodcut)
Statue of Tzar Osvoboditel (The Russian King Liberator) (Sofia)
Sculpture of father and son Slaveikov (Slaveikov square, Sofia)               
Young King Simeon
Image of rose from painting Vladimir Dimitrov Maistora
Woman with basket of Roses (image from 50 leva banknote 1951)
Image of Mount Vitosha
ING Lion
Image of grape picking woman at vineyard (banknote 100 leva 1951)
Plovdiv old town
Image of soldier (banknote 1000 leva 1948)
Shipka monument (Shipka battle - the most crucial battle of the liberation war, where the young Bulgarian opulchentsi (volunteers) succeeded to defend Shipka pass by all means - including stones and the bodies of their dead comrades when all other ammunitions were over. Bulgarians held the pass alone, thus not allowing the two main Turkish besieged armies to unite)
ING Head Office Amsterdam
Bridge in Koprivstitsa (Claimed to be the place where the first shot fell in the rebellion against the Turks
Statue of liberty (Sofia)
Sculpture of Stambolov (Sofia)
Gypsy with chained bear (Sofia)
Old town of Plovdiv
Martenitza (Martenitzi are given to family and friends to wish them health and good luck. The white-and-red tassels are to be worn until the first storks arrive or you see the first tree blossoming (that is why later in the month many green trees are decorated with hanging martenitzi). In Bulgarian folklore March is the only "female" month of the year. It embodies the revival of life, the fertile female principle.)
Fortress in Veliko Turnovo (mid Bulgaria)
Fortress in Veliko Turnovo (mid Bulgaria)
"Bulgarian Blue"  painting   explained:
Statue St Sofia
Rila monastery
St. George and the dragon
Former Communist Party House
Alexander Nevski Cathedral (Sofia
The Saint of Money & Commerce
 Bridge in Koprivstitsa and sculpture of The waiting woman in Koprivstitsa, waiting for her son to return from the war against the Turks.
The making of the Bulgarian ING paintings.  I    N    T    R    O    D    U    C   T    I    O    N     How did we come to the idea of commissioning Hugo Kaagman for our paintings: At the time of construction and move to our new premises in August 2000, we designed the banking hall in typical ING style and with ING Corporate colours. The furniture and furnishing was designed and produced for us according to our requirements and needs. We decided to extend the art collection of our branch with art works of local artists. While visiting lots of galleries I got acquainted with some oil paintings of a Bulgarian painter called Stefan Yanev. We purchased five paintings for our banking hall.    Enthusiastic of our newly acquired art we wanted more, but could not be satisfied with what we came across, until I was pointed at a painting ("skinny bridge" ) made by Hugo Kaagman in the house of one of our friends here in Sofia. The painting is in the typical "Hugo Kaagman" style being "Delft blue" colours and motives in tyles. As a Dutchman in Bulgaria this appealed to me immediately. I discussed this opportunity with Peter and a lot of ideas came up. Via our friend Bert van der Lingen we came in contact with Hugo and while on leave in The Netherlands I visited Hugo in Amsterdam to see more of his work and to find out whether Hugo was prepared to do this for us. The main and most important theme was some sort of mix of the Dutch and Bulgarian culture, given our presence in Bulgaria and being a branch of a Dutch based group. As you can see there are a lot of Bulgarian ingredients painted in blue which immediately gives an association with the world famous "Delft blue" art. The end result is the two paintings "Bulgarian Blue" and "Sofia Branch". Working with Hugo on this "project" was a unique experience for us. Kees de Jong, Sofia June 2001