Saturday 27 December 2014

Shaan Syed / Ad Reinhardt

Ad Reinhardt

This may be a really bad quality shot of an Ad Reinhardt painting, but it’s also a brilliantly savy shot of an Ad Reinhardt painting and someone’s hand. Reinhardt’s paintings were never meant to be photographed. He deliberately tried to make his paintings un-photographable. The colour and surface variations were so subtle that even today’s cameras can’t give an accurate representation of what our eyes can see and adjust to when in front of them. I imagine Reinhardt was a prickly character. His paintings were about a focused refusal, just as his political cartoons satirised and revealed the fallacies of certain facets of art world thinking. Whoever decided to put his hand in front of this Reinhardt painting as the picture was being snapped probably understood this very well.
Shaan Syed, 2014

Shaan Syed (CA/UK)
Stage Right (Dark Green Horizontal With Double Swipe)
oil and polyfilla on canvas
212 x 198 cm

Saturday 20 December 2014

Jorn van Leeuwen / Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh
74 x 92 cm
oil on canvas
MoMA, New York

Jorn van Leeuwen (NL)
Geranium Meteoor 45
pen on paper
129 x 144,5 cm

Saturday 13 December 2014

Alex Paik / Paul Klee

Paul Klee
May Picture
oil on cardboard
42,2 x 49,5 cm

I've always felt a deep affinity with the abstract work of Paul Klee.The lightness of his touch and attitude in his work is not so much about playfulness (although that certainly plays a part), but instead is related to the ephemerality of music. As a fellow musician, I'm deeply attracted to the ideas of rhythm, structure, polyphony, and improvisation in his work.
Alex Paik, 2014

Alex Paik (US)
V (Greens)
gouache, colored pencil, paper
66 x 40,5 x 7,5 cm

Saturday 6 December 2014

Robin Gerris / Henry Wallis

Henry Wallis
The Death of Chatterton
oil on canvas
62.2 x 93.3 cm
Tate Britain, London

Silence, ominous situations. What has been and what is about to happen? A certain vulnerability or transition within depicted images is what inspires me. Tensions that provoke the viewers or invite them to contemplate about the seen image or their own perception of the image. Sometimes I prefer abstract art, and sometimes figurative. There are a lot of artists that inspire me. Some more then others but every work I see leaves its traces in my mind. From the heavy material based installations by Carl André to the pictorial images shrouded in darkness by Caravaggio. From the meditative, elementary and planned drawings by Jan Hoving to the narrative tonal after-images by Luc Tuymans. The works that inspire me the most depict a certain fragility from the makers own hands. This varies from the illusion of painting, the subtle and careful handling of the material or the carefulness in which the story of the image is translated with the chosen material.

For exactly that last reason I chose the painting “The Death of Chatterton” (1856) by Henry Wallis (1830-1916). The painting is made with utmost care for detail and realism. It shows the exact moment where Thomas Chatterton, a poet and forger from 1770 who grew out to a cult hero, committed suicide at the age of 17. As a viewer I got the feeling that I opened the door to the attic myself and found Chatterton on his bed breathing out his final breath while his ethereal being left the attic through the window. The intimacy of this moment and the intensity of the decision is tangible in the painting. It creates a direct and confronting awareness of our fragility as humans. It gives the viewer space for contemplation and self-awareness at the same time. A wonderful piece that continues to inspire me.

Robin Gerris, 2014

Robin Gerris (NL)
Monolith 3
phototransfer on plaster, latex paint, tightening straps
200 x 100 x 25 cm

Sunday 23 November 2014

Bram Kinsbergen / Henri Toulouse Lautrec

Henri Toulouse Lautrec
La Comtesse Adèle de Toulouse-Lautrec
ca 1883
oil on canvas
93,5 x 81 cm 

Busy working on a series of work about McDonald's restaurants around the world, seen through Google Street View, I was browsing through a book of Henri Toulouse Lautrec.
I was so into this McDonald's thing, that when I saw the portrait he made of his mother, I immediately made the link with my own work. 
The way she looks, like she is torn into something (the making of this portrait) she doesn't want to be part of, is the look I wanted to give to my portrait of the mother of Ronald McDonald.
Her face painted like “the clown”, she couldn't resist the demand of her son to be portrayed like this, but I wanted to tell a different story by the way she looks.
Henri Toulouse Lautrec made a lot of portraits that have an unfinished result, that's the reason why I did the same with my work. 
It symbolizes the loneliness, the void of being the mother of Ronald McDonald.
Bram Kinsbergen, 2014

Bram Kinsbergen (BE)
Mama by Ronald McDonald by Bram Kinsbergen
oil on canvas
50 x 70 cm

Saturday 15 November 2014

Paul Corvers / Franz Kline

Franz Kline
oil on canvas
146 x 208,3 cm

When I first discovered the work of Franz Kline, during my time at the Academy, it was a revelation. I was struck by the vitality, the power and the emotion. It has influenced my view on painting then and it still does now.
Paul Corvers, 2014

Paul Corvers (NL)
Untitled (690)
oil on linen
30 x 40 cm

Saturday 8 November 2014

Dona Nelson / Joan Miro

Joan Miro
Woman (Opera Singer)
pastel and pencil on flocked paper
106,7 x 71,1 cm
MoMA, New York

Dona Nelson (US)
Lunar Eclipse (front)
acrylic on canvas
121, 9 x 121,9 cm

Dona Nelson (US)
Lunar Eclipse (back)
acrylic on canvas
121, 9 x 121,9 cm

Saturday 1 November 2014

Denitsa Todorova / Rembrandt

Danaë (detail)
oil on canvas
185 x 203 cm
Hermitage Museum, Sint-Petersburg

By picking up symbols from the surroundings I create my own imaginary world: a picturesque twist, based on mystery illuminations and visual poetry. What I find essential is the state of the emotions that the viewer encounters after seeing my works... My works are very much influenced by perceptions of life and death, Christian orthodox religion, history of art, my childhood memories and the interactions with the surroundings. I have been deeply moved by the painting Danae by Rembrandt, one of his most magnificent works.

I challenged myself to represent the ideal of female beauty and the passion felt by a woman when she sees her lover. In the three portraits dedicated to this masterpiece I focused on the fata morgana illusion of something that we want to see but is not present and the imperfect conversion process by which live models were transformed into mythological figures.
Denitsa Todorova, 2014

Denitsa Todorova (BG/BE)
Rembrandt was here
oil on canvas
50 x 60 cm 

Saturday 25 October 2014

Henri Jacobs / Enguerrand Quarton

Enguerrand Quarton
La Pietà de Villeneuve-lès-Avignon
ca 1455-1460
oil on panel
Musée du Louvre Paris

Could the first-ever drawing have been a single line drawn in the sand, or a line drawn with charcoal? Or was it the print of a hand covered with mud? Or the negative of that hand by using a spray of mud over the hand on a stone surface.
So, was it a single line in sand or a line of charcoal, the print of a hand, the leftover of a hand?
Or could the first drawing have been made by five fingertips dipped in mud to draw five short lines?
I suppose there wasn’t any idea or plan. The acting person didn’t foresee what she or he was doing, perhaps she was surprised or even enchanted.
As in Stanley Kubrick’s film '2001 A Space Odyssey' apes were surprised while playing to discover that a bone could be a weapon with which to hit other apes. From that moment civilization was born.
Henri Jacobs, 2014

Henri Jacobs (NL/BE)
Ecriture pictographique no 1
oil pastel wall drawing
Galerie Paul Andriesse Amsterdam

Saturday 18 October 2014

Johan de Haas / Rein Draijer

Rein Draijer
Tafelberg Zuid-Afrika
oil on canvas
96 x 120 cm

Rein Draijer is a versatile artist (1899-1986), painter, sculptor, designer of stamps and a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. His work exudes a strong, sober and simple vision of reality. Both realistic and abstract values ​​form a cohesive unit. As a very valued teacher Rein Draijer taught us ordering perception as well as handling visual elements and materials.

I myself am a painter, restorer and a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem. In particular, I have focused on the handling of materials and the significance of light in that.'Monochroom Vaalgroen' (Monochrome Pale Green) is one-colored. The differences in color, light-dark and cool-warm are caused by the handling of tools that have left traces. In 'Composition', color, shape and handling of material can be observed simultaneously and therefore are interchangeable.
Johan de Haas, 2014

Johan de Haas
Monochroom Vaalgroen
oil on panel
25 x 66 cm
collection Provincie Gelderland

Johan de Haas (NL)
oil on panel
46 x 46 cm
collection Stedelijk Museum Schiedam