We often say about our regulars “they’re part of the furniture”, but in the case of Rupa Charan van Teylingen, this is literally true. Rupa has been around since the founding of Helicopter, when it was still known as Sink or Swim, and has since then been setting the scene by covering every available wall with his brilliant artwork. Starting with a line of portraits including Bob Marley, Ray Charles and Rick James, his style of painting has grown to incorporate symbolic, absurdist and abstract works.
Rupa works as a tattoo artist in the studio of the legendary Henk Schiffmacher, which is reflected in many of his paintings. They feature traditional tattoo motifs, such as angels and demons, mermaids, skulls and big cats, but they also touch on different genres, such as surealism and pop art, often with an ironic message and a tinge of mystery. In any case, thanks to Rupa, there is always something to look at. I think I can say without exaggeration that Heli wouldn’t be Heli without his paintings livening up the place.
A few years ago, Rupa was set up in a cold and dark corner in the back of Helicopter which has been called Rupa’s Lift ever since (there was an old crane there to hoist heavy materials up. The same one that nearly killed Bernard, you might recall). Nowadays, Rupa has upgraded and is currently occupying Studio 8. It is inspiring to see the master at work, covered in paint, blasting death metal and surrounded by his works in different stages of development.
Together with his lovely belle Glynis, Rupa has recently produced his greatest work of art yet, and her name is Mira Yumi van Teylingen. We are very excited to welcome this newest member to the Heli Baby Brigade!
Many of the works you see decorating the walls could be yours. Contact Rupa through one of his business cards found around the Heli, or check out his Instagram, as he regularly posts both his paintings and his tattoo art there. If you run into him at Helicopter one day, ask to take a peak in his laboratory. You won’t regret it.