Harry Luga by Theo Seesing

Theo Seesing is a graphic designer and media promotor from Rotterdam. He has worked on multimedia and design projects through studios like Limage Dangereuse (1986-1998) and the Institute for Form and Image (since 1998), and is one of the driving forces behind the Rotterdam Image Festival and its Image Labs.

Born in Rotterdam in 1959, Seesing attended the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts, now the Willem de Kooning Academy. He founded his first studio, Limage Dangereuse (1986-1998), with Arie van Baarle. The studio provided graphic design, illustration, webdesign and interior/exposition design, while  Seesing also made his first (and only?) comic strip through this studio. The crime noir 'Complot in Rotterdam, een platenfeuilleton' ("Conspiracy in Rotterdam, a picture serial") appeared on Saturdays in the socialist newspaper Het Vrije Volk from 2 April until 5 November 1988. The main character was the detective Harry Luga, who was in pursuit of the criminal Boris Kloris in Rotterdam during the late 1950s. The comic had no regular newspaper comics format, but was instead presented with two regular album-size pages at a time. These mainly consisted of images with captions, but there we also sections with text balloons. The backgrounds are well-known spots in Rotterdam and seem to be traced from pictures. While the protagonists are drawn in a photorealistic style, the villain is drawn caricaturally. This is because Boris Kloris is actually the major nemesis from Martin Lodewijk's famous comics series 'Agent 327', whom Seesing just copied, presumably as an inside joke. The comic was possibly an effort to promote Rotterdam’s hotspots, so it is not unlikely that the artist also wanted to honor the city’s best-known comics author.

Harry Luga by Theo Seesing

Seesing was furthermore head of the Willem de Kooning Art Academy in Rotterdam from 1998 to 2006. During that same period, he launched his Institute for Form and Image (Instituut voor Beeld & Vorm), an agency that produces designs and illustrations for both business to business clients and artists. He operates as a mediator between the art world and the government/business community for both commercial and non-commercial projects. Besides illustrations and concepts, the agency makes installations and designs for expositions. Seesing and his colleagues Johan Weggis and Ali Ben Zine furthermore release the quarterly online magazine Machazine, with columns and articles about imagery and typography. Since 2007, Seesing is creative director of the Rotterdam Image Festival, an annual ten-day event focusing on all aspects of imagery and the image industry. In addition to the festival, the Image Festival promotes itself as an ongoing platform for designers, students and design agencies. Throughout the year, several Festival Labs are hosted in Café de Unie. Seesing's "Image Labs" have also featured people from the comics industry, such as Erik Kriek, Robert van Raffe, Tonio van Vugt, Remco Polman and letterer Frits Jonker. Seesing also hosts Image Labs at the Cross Comix festival, the Rotterdam-based media festival organized by Hanco Kolk, Robert van der Kroft and Erik de Graaf.

www.instituutvoorbeeldenvorm.nl

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