Bart Van Zweeden


Material: Oilpaint on linnen canvas
Size: 45 x 120 cm

In recent years, the realization has arisen that the 17th century was not a 'Golden Age' for everyone. In fact, we should be posthumously ashamed of all the suffering inflicted on thousands of people by slavery, purely because of the colour of their skin.

Born in Amsterdam (* 1958) and painting/etching since 1976. Educated as a biologist (VL-VU Amsterdam, HU Utrecht) and painter/artist as well. Vrije Academie The Hague, two years MK24 Amsterdam, summerschool Klassieke Academie Groningen model and portrait. Expo's in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam. Latest expo: EuropArtFair 2023. Winner of EuropArtFair Award (2nd). The work leans on a realistic portrayal of man in which authenticity and truth are sought. In fact, it is less and less about man as an object, but rather as a subject of the conviction that the way of perceiving determines our ability to judge. I am convinced that our way of perceiving and the way in which images and information come to us is always colored and often even flattering. Our world seems to be flooded with news and fake news, with facts and lies. By literally painting over his realistic images with a transparent layer of paint and leaving only a small part open, questions seem to arise about why these parts are emphasized in particular and about the truth perspective with which the viewer looks at this work. In these works I have looked for a possibility to break the pattern of perception and observation and to lead the viewer in his direction of gaze. After carefully painting, models and portraits are largely covered and painted over with a (red) transparent paint. This puts the objects portrayed in a completely different light. Because parts were covered, these parts are still original. The bands of light and openness created in this way seem special enough to direct our gaze. Strange actually, because the entire image is still visible, the freedom of perception remains, but the gaze is still directed by me as image maker. The work thus seems to show that our attention can clearly be directed to areas other than expected, even if they are perhaps less interesting. This terrain is where the artist moves; raise the question of what we actually see, what we don't see and what we ignore or even refuse to see.

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