Peter Van Dyck–“Conservative” Artist?
[From an earlier version @ LoOG’s Dutch Courage sub-blog.]
To me, these days, any artist whose work has a resemblance to its actual real-life subject is “conservative,” so too any artist whose sense of beauty corresponds to what is considered beautiful in real life regardless of context.
Above, Beth in White . Below, Corner of Ripka and Wilde Streets .
Peter’s website is featuring his more recent work such as the latter, and the gentle observer notes a certain evolution in style, toward a less literal and more impressionistic and personal use of line and color.
I relate to PVD’s work not only on the visceral level, that I feel present at the scene, but it’s more than that. His newer work has added impact, and for that first glimpse of the scene, I’m an artist—I’m Peter, the artist—myself. He has lent me his discerning and loving eye, so that I may see what he sees, and feel it as he does.
What a gift, more a sharing really, between artist and audience.
[As a matter of disclosure, Peter Van Dyck is related to me not by blood but by marriage, which is why I’m aware of his work in the first place. Coincidence, or kismet, depending on your view of these things.]
I do hope that possibly tarnishing him with the “conservative” brush does him or his work no fatal disservice. I was shown his earliest work over a decade ago, and even then it made my heart rise—life seemed just a little bit richer for having seen his work.
I’d say if there’s a conservative approach to art and artistry, it’s this—to show us what we strive to see but cannot, the beauty we know in our hearts is there, but lack the clarity of vision to perceive for ourselves.
If there is a conservative view of art, this conservative would put it thus: Where there is no beauty, there is no art.
Ugliness may make a statement; context may enhance, but cannot replace aesthetics. Where there is no love, no love of beauty, but only content and context, there is only propaganda.
A piece of art must be more than its title.
The kind artist, the lover of life and the lover of man, lends us the startlingly clear blink of his eye now and then, although it takes him hours upon hours [and a lifetime of preparation] to get it down onto his canvas.
I have now stood on the corner of Ripka & Wilde and wanted to be nowhere else in creation at that very moment; I have had Beth take my breath away.
For that, to Peter Van Dyck, I am grateful, and shall be all my life.