top of page

Sitting in one of the oldest cafés in Amsterdam, observing the art deco interior while watching raindrops knocking against the old windowpanes, I sit in Café Americain awaiting the arrival of Eva Bartels. For decades, Café Americain has been recognized as an energizing place where writers, musicians, actors and other artists from the national and international art world will meet.  It’s the perfect surrounding to meet Eva Bartels. After a few minutes, a pretty, young, red-haired girl, with red lips accentuated, holding a yellow biker jacket and a motor-helmet in her hand, walks into the bar. She is Eva Bartels; autodidact, talented painter, gifted actress, performer, presenter, in short: a centipede who seems to be capable of doing almost everything that comes along her way. Why? Because she is a representative of the multitalented youth of today.

Her big brown eyes begin to illuminate when she speaks about her work. As a young girl, Eva Bartels would make drawings on birthdays of the birthday boy or girl, and as a surprise, all of the birthday guests would wear them as masks. This was the start of a long, creative and spectacular career. After high school, Eva attended a styling academy. After two years, she came to the conclusion that styling was not her calling. She planned a journey to China and India. When she returned to Amsterdam,
driven by a broken relationship, she started painting. Mixing her emotions and a lot of paint, she discovered a new talent. Eva and her friend rented an anti-squat building in a fancy neighborhood where she started selling her own paintings, as well as paintings from her artist friends, under the name ‘Radikale Maskerade’ (Radical Masquerade). The gallery worked out very well, but after six months Eva left for Berlin. And Berlin inspired her to paint even more.

Multi-talent” could be Eva’s middle name. When she was booked to do a performance during Paris Fashion Week, the improvisation started. A day before her departure to Paris, she found out that none of the props she needed for her performance were there. She decided to buy a lot of paint and paper, and started to draw all the guests at the party, like a stand-up-live-painter. Surprisingly, after the party, everyone wanted a drawing to take home with them. It was an enormous success, and thus, a new performance was born.

By Marthe Seydel



Eva’s drawings are dripping in fashion and femininityThey could be sketches of a free-minded fashion designer with a great passion for art. Eva actually wanted to be a fashion designer, but did not have the discipline for all the details and fuss. So she works out her perfect outfit in a drawing. This way she can create whatever she wants, without the hassle of making and tailoring a real outfit. Concerning her fabulous looks, Eva tells me that fashion, to her, is dependent on her mood. One day she feels like a Parisian girl, when the next she goes for a grungy look, just like her versatile talents. When I ask her about all the amazing outfits she wears during her performances, she reveals the secret of a little store in Amsterdam. She once bought a beautiful white dress, with an open back. But Eva just didn’t know where to wear it. ‘Maybe I could use it as my wedding dress’ she first thought. But when she was asked to present the ELLE Style Awards 2012, with a roaring 20’s theme, it was as if the dress was made for it, and she wore it there with verve.

At the time of writing, Eva and her boyfriend, photographer Dim Balsem, opened a one-day gallery in Amsterdam. The idea was to trigger the audience, from art and fashion, to music and food. Both the work of Eva and Dim were shown. Fashion was the main subject of her work on display. But what Eva does now is only the beginning. There is so much more to come. Can you imagine what else this 25-year old girl can do? Besides being a representative of the multi-talented youth we have these days, all I can say is, keep an eye on this versatile, talented girl.

Eva Bartels work can also be found on

Café Americain​ -Eden Amsterdam American Hotel-Leidsekade 97  1017 PN-Amsterdam(Noord-Holland), Netherlands​ 020 556 3000

For more Art related articles see below

 MMJ. Art Articles.    

Marthe Seydel, age 27, is based in Amsterdam. She studied Communication and Information Science at the University of Groningen, and currently works at a PR agency focused on fashion and lifestyle.

bottom of page