Earlier this year Rop van Mierlo and Remco van der Velden launched their collaborative project Wild Animals with the first edition called Tiger Merch. A beautiful collection of products consisting of mugs, sweaters, art prints, t-shirts, socks, a pyjama, a rug and even wrapping paper, all with the characteristically painted Tiger by Rop van Mierlo.
“I’ve always been interested in artists’ merchandise, and in how, after an artist has passed away, their work ends up on coffee mugs and T-shirts and shopping bags, and how it never looks like it’s been done in a way that the artists themselves would have liked. So, even though I’m not a super famous artist and I’m still alive, I thought it would be fun to make Wild Animals merchandise: Tiger Merch.”
— Gert Jonkers in conversation with Rop.
Read the full conversation here >
For his Wild Animals project, Van Mierlo experiments with his paintings in new techniques and materials. The first result is a Panda rug, hand-tufted in collaboration with TextielLab (which is specialised in textile research and production) at the TextielMuseum, located in a former textile factory in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
The 12 products of ‘Tiger Merch’ are all based upon the tiger, the first ever painting of the ‘wild animals’ series.
This release, looking like mass-produced merchandise on first sight, consists of undomesticated and qualitatively products made in limited editions to unique items.
Rop van Mierlo studied at Design Academy Eindhoven and graduated cum laude in 2008.
He works with various mediums but starts his process mostly with drawings or paintings.
Control – or the absence of it – is an important part of his work.
Best known for his picture book ‘Wild Animals’, which won a Dutch Design Award in 2011, Van Mierlo is intrigued by the human need to control nature.
Using a wet-on-wet technique (the way you learn painting on a Waldorf school, yes we all did), he paints animals that he can’t control.