A STILL LIFE

Stefaan Eyckmans

15.12.2022 - 28.01.2023

Actually, I don’t really like still life… But this painting is not ‘still’ at all…
rather full of life!

For many years I have cherished this spontaneous remark from a visitor to my studio as a great compliment. Not just out of pride, but because he subconsciously touched the core of my pursuit as an artist.

Where is the challenge in the realistic representation of some everyday objects? When does a painting transcend the photographic representation?

My roots can be found with the old masters from the Low Countries. In Flanders I grew up in the vicinity of paintings by Pieter Claesz Heda, Jan Davids de Heem, Frans Snyders etc. I was intrigued immensely by those paintings that seem to catch the light and radiate it again. And there, as a young artist, my quest for the mystery of the still life would start.

It is primarily all about light. When composing a still life, I take into account how the light wanders between the objects, how the fruits and pitchers relate and reflect one another. Light, colour and composition… these abstract properties have to be right from the start. But without light there is no colour, no form, no depth… no life!

As a contemporary artist I use a different form of language than the 17th century masters. The tonal technique of the old masters in combination with clear colours, soft harmonies and dynamic perspective results in a contemporary realism with roots in a centuries-old tradition of painting.

My paintings should offer an invitation to dwell on the beauty of the small and the everyday. In our modern visual culture of rapidly flashing images, my paintings should act as refuges… for you, the spectator.

Stefaan Eyckmans
Porte-du-Quercy, October ‘22

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