Bendt Eyckermans

° 1994

Born in Antwerpen (BE), lives in Antwerpen (BE).

Bendt Eyckermans studied painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, graduating in 2016. As a child, he was artistically influenced by the sculptures of his parents and other family members. The visual work of his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather all fuelled his keen interest in sculpture and history, recurring themes in his artistic practice. The artist is especially inspired and fascinated by the monumentality and two-dimensional narrative of bas-reliefs. Eyckermans has perpetuated the family tradition, working in his grandfather's old studio.

In line with family tradition, Eyckermans went to art school at age 16 to develop his talent for graphic drawing. Later, at the Academy of Fine Arts, he studied the old masters, learning how to work from sketches to create his own compositions of colour and shapes. He greatly admires Belgian painters, including the Latem School, Constant Permeke, and Jean Brusselmans. Their work inspired him to paint primitive, almost brutalist shapes with dramatic shadows and human figures in strange poses. Over time, Eyckermans's style became more refined, with realistic characters - or parts of them, mainly hands and feet – rendered with great precision in alienating settings and with surrealistic associations and connotations. He uses busts, statues or imposing gateways that engage in a dialogue with contemporary scenes and components or repaints sculptures from his family's past in oil on canvas. Although the resulting compositions and situations appear classical, they are not. The anachronisms he creates are mostly absurd and surrealist-inspired: two boys conversing with a bird on the grass, a character talking to a statue, or a girl talking on her mobile phone in a fairytale forest. Eyckermans thus composes historical images with a contemporary feel.

All of the characters in his paintings are friends or people who drop by his studio, whom he depicts as extras in a specific pose. Instead of modelling for a portrait or picture, they are reduced to 'poses' to evoke a particular feeling of an image or a memory. Eyckermans uses painting as a medium to give events a place, both literally and figuratively, imbuing his very personal canvases with the intimacy of a journal.


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