Tag Archives: Beauty

Enlightenment by memory recollection.

A simple draft, hidden in a plain old-fashioned sketchbook. That’s all it takes.

As I was searching for something this afternoon (nothing out of the ordinary), I surprisingly stumbled upon this (old) sketchbook of mine, which dates back to my college-years (2011). Although this was (hidden) is my closet all along it still surprised me how many memories it made me recollect. This sketch (see below) in particular. First of all I can still remember the sight I looked upon when drawing this sketch, gazing over the Grand Canale in Venice (what a sublime picture). Focusing my sight upon the San Giorgio Maggiore. It was warm that day. The sun glazing upon my sheets, I drew this fast sketch.

Now, more than 2 years later it still reminds me of the particular feelings I felt that day, being in love and all. Things were different back then, so many has changed since I got my college degree. University is nothing alike what I used to to back in those days.

What I really wanted to share with you is what it inspired me to do these last couple of days. As i gazed upon this sketch, I saw one thing, “structures”. I saw how the dome has been drew with its skeleton included, its supporting structures. Well, that’s what I want to explore in the near future; how to trigger certain expressions using only the structural lines of an object/building. Which structures are unable to? If so, why is this? Which structures are more appropriate than others and why?  Architecture reduced to their fundamental support. “Des lignes sans plus”.


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It’s been a year..

Rossetti – Venus Verticordia

Since the fall of dawn and rise of this blog I have been wondering what beauty is all about, where to find it and how it is ‘made’. It’s been 2 years now since I first encountered something way more powerful than art itself and which would change my opinion on beauty forever.

I’m quite sure that you wouldn’t be shocked neither amazed when I continue by telling it all started upon laying my eyes for the first time upon this amazing girl for whom I lack words to describe how amazing she is to me. To me, this girl represents the true nature of what beauty, which she embodies in multiple ways. Beauty does not merely exist in what we see, it reaches far deeper beyond all senses.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: 
Its lovliness increases; it will never 
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep 
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep 
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

-John Keats. 

Although it’s been a year since I  seem to have ‘lost’ her, I still remain perplex whenever I lay my eyes upon her. Therefor I am quite sure that all of this, is not be described as merely ‘love’. It reaches far beyond it’s outer lines. As Kandinsky would say; “Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hands which plays touching one key or another purposively to cause vibrations in the Soul.”, she is my artist, my aphrodisiac, she makes me reverberate. You Don’t know what you’re missing till it’s gone; which i got to learn the hard way.

Trust me,
She is worth the fighting for.

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The rise of Modern Iconoclasm.

Search & Destroy – Mekhitar Garabedian

Invading their personal space, tresspassing the natural habitat. Some people feel the urge to destroy or damage certain artworks, sculptures. Simply beacause they don’t belong in their environment. The modern iconoclasm is what they call it. Although I don’t seem to find the name being very appropriate is it’s connotation is much more severe then what is happening now. Especially compared to the destruction of religious artwork and the fear for idolatry (without mentioning the the destruction of the Buddhas in Afghanistan, but i’m not touching that one.

Let’s keep it nearby; In Ghent there’s a contemporary art exhibit in town. It exists of multiple sculptures, installations situated all over town. Therefor it’s not remarkeble that some of these became the victim of ‘modern iconoclasm’. (The same thing happened at Beaufort – see below). As you can see on the picture above, the letter is ‘R’ (Search & Destroy) is missing. The piece has been removed from the installation and thrown into the water. Why they did this, isn’t surely known. One thing is for sure; they took the message a bit too serious.

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Black is not a color.

The Balcony  – 1869 –  Oil on canvas, 170 x 124 cm – Musee d’Orsay, Paris – E. Manet.

The artists whome’s paintings could be considered as the genesis of Modern art would eventually become modern art. Edouard Manet, possibly the greatest among impressionist painters, we could even see him as the founder for that matter.

This painting might appeal as realistic portrait of bourgeois life. Yet this is not the case, all the models used in this painting were acquaintances of the artist, especially Berthe Morisot (the girl sitting in the foreground), who makes her first appearance in Manet’s work, who went on to become one of it’s favorite models.

“Color is a matter of taste and of sensitivity”- E. Manet

What was even less conventional for that time, which was a time where academical constraints were still in play, and “good” painters were those who belong to the academy and therefor painted so. But Manet was radically freeing himself from these constraints by not showing any story or anecdote; it seems like the protagonists are frozen, “as if isolated in an interior dream”.

He tried to free himself, despite the reference tot Goya’s Majas at the Balcony (See below) which the artist could have most likely seen during his trip to spain in 1865. Goya treated his protagonist in a more sinister manner (watched by two man in the background, dark surroundings). The two girls are dressed like majas, which in other paintings of his would refer to prostitutes.

Majas on a Balcony – Francisco de Goya y Lucientes – Oil on canvas –   1810-1812

As Manet was surely to be inspired by Goya, so was Manet an inspiration to later painters, as his paintings were to be considered as the genesis of modern art . Less then a century later this happens..

Manet’s Balcony – Rene Magritte – 1950 -Oil on Canvas.

“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” – R. Magritte

This work belongs to a series of paintings; “the perspective paintings”. Magritte based these paintings on well-known works by french artists (Jacques Louis David, Éduoard Manet, François Gerard). The painting is executed in Magritte’s carefully detailed style and might be seen as an irreverent rendition of the neoclassical masterpiece which is suffused with mordant wit. This must be a statement right? Did he just kill, buried Manet? Or rather the subjects that used to be on the painting? As I’m living/ studying in Ghent, where this painting is shown, I have the privilege of seeing it whenever I like and I have to be honest; it strikes me every single time.. It seems to embody this morbid atmosphere, but yet such cool, calming colors.. It’s confusing, it makes me think, it makes good art.

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When I’ll know your soul I paint your eyes.

Jeanne Hebuterne

Let’s admit it. He had good taste, look at her, an astonishingly beautiful young lady, who would become the subject of it’s biggest masterpiece. His name was Amedeo Modigliani‘a crazy italian fuck.’. Whose bohemian life could’ve been seen as a result of many different aspects. First of all it was expected of artists of that time, secondly it was the time where radical philosophies arose, including those of Nietzsche. Eventually it got the man killed at the early age of 36. Even among other bohemians his behavior stood out; he would sometimes strip himself naked at social gatherings, making a scene. He became the epitome of a tragic artist, he became the new Vincent van Gogh.

“(hold sacred all) which can exalt and excite your intelligence… (and) … seek to provoke … and to perpetuate … these fertile stimuli, because they can push the intelligence to its maximum creative power.”

But instead, let’s not talk about the artist, I’d rather tell you about his mistress, goddess, lover and most important subject in Modigliani’s life. I present to you; Jeanne Hébuterne , she was a 19 year old art student when she first met Amedeo, unlike the artist she descended from a conservative bourgeois background. Although her family renounced her affaire with the drunken, poor artist, who had almost no income at all, she decided to move in with him. Their public scene’s became even more renowned than Modigliani’s individual drunken exhibitions.

“When I’ll know your soul, I’ll paint your eyes, and he eventually did. Take a look at these remarkable paintings and notice the eyes.

Amedeo Modigliani – 1918 – MET (NY) – Oil on Canvas. Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne.

And then all of a sudden this happened.. He painted her eyes. He knew her soul. This touches me in every single way, the gesture by itself embodies beauty and passion. Passion for life, she gave birth to their first child, which she named Jeanne. She got pregnant a second time, but the child would never see daylight… Tragedy and Beauty seem to go hand in hand. The inevitable happened …

Amedeo Modigliani- Jeanne Hebuterne– 1919 – Oil on Canvas

…. on 24 january 1920 Modigliani died, totally distraught, she threw herself out of the fifth-floor apartment window the day after his death, killing herself together with her unborn child

“Devoted companion to the extreme sacrifice – epitath Hebuterne”

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This is Belgium. (Not chocolate)

Michaël Borremans  & Luc Tuymans. 

As i was going through my books this afternoon I couldn’t resist to show and  introduce you to Belgian art. Therefor I chose these two artists who are two of my favorite contemporary painters in Belgium. I love the misty colors, the hard themes, shocking maybe? The light that seems to burst out into the darkness. I also couldn’t stop noticing that there was a certain resemblance when watching both artist’s works. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

The Pendant – 2010 – Oil on canvas – Michaël Borremans 

 Der Diagnostische Blick VII – 1992 – 65,5 x 45,5 cm – oil on canvas – Luc Tuymans 

Luc Tuymans, Panel, 2010, oil on canvas, 92 1/4 x 71 1/2 inches, courtesy David Zwirner, New York.

Michaël Borremans, Trickland, 2002, courtesy Eeno X Gallery, Antwerpen

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Oh dear, I’m addicted.

To be honest, this is becoming an addiction, didn’t know that writing could be so interesting.. The self reflection, reaching people all over the world, wow this is AMAZING.

Anyway, I’m planning to do a review on this really brilliant contemporary artist Brett Amory, if i had a choice I would do it right now, as my fingers are tingling to begin. But … As I’m an art student I’m obliged to study. Which is fun as well.. learning about all these different artists and .. you know. I might believe that i’ve found my calling..

So stay tuned, I’ll be back very SOON.

thanks all for reading and liking my posts,

Greetings Olivier.

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“My paint is like a rocket, which describes its own space”


91 years, this is how old this marvelous painter would’ve become today. He only passed away 6 years ago but it’s oeuvre seems to tremble the foundations of art and post-modernism. I’d like to refer to a previous post where I discusses this artist in detail: “The painter versus it’s canvas

“I don’t paint, I hit.”

Dear mr Appel, you fought well earning your proper name in the history of arts.
You shall not be forgotten.

“The duty of the artist is not to be calculating in any sense, so that he may be free himself of human emotions while carried by the universal forces of life. Only then does one not think about making art, or about styles, or directions. Something comes about, something happens.”

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A Perspective on Art(s). n

Luc Tuymans; ‘Fumigation chamber’

Let me first explain you why I decided to create blog in the first place. As it already may have occurred to you, I’m an art (history) student at the University of Gent. In the proces of learning everything about art(s) and reading different books on this topic, I stumbled on different, what you would call paradoxes, and started wondering and reflecting: “What is Art?, Where/ Why did art came into existence? What is true meaning of art? Why should we learn art? … ” 

So i decided to start writing (which eventually turned into blogging ), hoping for an answer to arise in the process. Moreover I was convinced that by sharing these line of thoughts and by all means initiate some kind of discussion, debate. Hoping for correction, further insights from others and by combining, linking these different points of view, converting them into an ‘universal’ theory to define art ( as well as in a historical , philosophical, easthetic  fashion). Therefor I would like to encourage all of you interested in this topic to try and contribute so WE can reach this ‘goal’.

“Aesthetic matters are fundamental for the harmonious development of both society and the individual.” – Friedrich Schiller

This is what I made out of my knowledge (for as far as it might (not) reach) and my perspective of what Art is/might be. (I’d like to add that it’s by all means possible that the following doesn’t make any sense to you, and therefor ask to add your disagreements in a comment).

I’ll begin in context of ‘history’ and ‘zeitgeist’

You could describe art in related to it’s proper “zeitgeist”, it’s function in Religion, it could be a reaction against society, or an expression of discontent (German Expressionism), Symbolic (Symbolism). A way of showing the world what daily life is really about (Realism). But art in general is none of these, how then to describe art?

First of all as you all might know, art is not reducible to it’s functionality it had in History, a piece of art simply can’t be reduced to the ‘zeitgeist’ where in it found birth. For example; you simply can’t look at a Rembrandt without ‘knowing’ that there’s also something made like a ‘Van Gogh’ or a ‘Picasso’. Does this make art a process in which one artist, one period, one work has influence on the next to come? It certainly does in a certain manner, as I mentioned before you can’t reduce art to it’s historical context

But what about art in a “universal” way? Could we describe art as the pursuit to really getting to know what life’s about, what/ who we are. (Cf. Hegel). First of all i do believe that art is not ONLY about discovering humanity. I believe that art expresses things that words can’t possibly reach, it expresses feelings or triggers feelings that we might not have known before. It are these things that make art intriguing. It has it’s own autonomous way of expressing itself, “art expresses itself.”

“Art expresses itself”

As all of you might know, art makes itself harder to define every time a piece of art is made. How possibly can we define Art in general without missing any aspect of it’s complexity in so many ways. What is it that makes art, Art? Is it the human touch? This certainly counts as one of the many aspects that define art. Art is something created by humanity, for (?) humanity.But where does art begin, where does it end? Should art by utile? Should it be beautiful, attracting? Or might it as well be repulsing and ugly?

What is art?

Thanks for reading,

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The pursuit of Art.


First of all, for all of those that are still awake or just got up: good morning! (7;58 AM here). Anyway today I’ll be discussing some quite interesting topics. Let’s line them up for a moment:

  • Willem De Kooning would’ve been 108 years old today so I’ll be reviewing a few of his works, commenting it’s style and give my own perspective on his “oeuvre” (to use some fancy words early in the morning) – “The king of Abstract Expressionism
  • Then I’ll TRY to give my point of view to what I truly believe to be Art and how Art seems to exist. The future of art, and last but not least; “why you should love art!”.

“I Do not deny that I have made drawings and watercolors of an erotic nature. But there are always works of Art. Are there no artists who have done erotic pictures?” – Egon Schiele

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