This painting shows the staircase of the former Schippersschool in Rotterdam. The building, built in 1915, has since been converted into luxury apartments, preserving the original character of the school. The Schippersschool has also been designated as a municipal monument.
In the painting, three alien elements have been added to the stairwell. In the middle is the 'red button' that also gave the title to the painting. At the bottom left on the floor is a gun and at the bottom right on the stairs is a bunch of flowers. These elements refer to current events.
For example, dozens of schools for (secondary) special education in the regions of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague are confronted with violent violence and more weapons possession among their students. They were seriously concerned about safety and recently raised the alarm. At checks, the schools find more weapons, including butterfly knives, machetes and (as pictured here) pistols.
In the painting, the red button is central with the text 'Emergency' on it. Some companies are already advertising this emergency button for schools.
Bert Hermans was born in 1947 in The Netherlands. His work consists mainly of oil paintings, with his major theme being industrial and cultural heritage. Hermans has followed several courses in acrylic, water media and oil painting, starting in 1985 at the Dutch Art School SKVR in Rotterdam in The Netherlands. The last decade his work mainly is concentrated on oil paintings.
Hermans has had exhibitions in eight countries in Europe, in the USA, China and Japan. He won several art prices. His works have been published in many art books and his artwork has been published and sold worldwide.