Bert De Beul

° 1961

Lives in Antwerp (Belgium), works in Antwerp (Belgium), born in Ghent (Belgium).

Bert De Beul grew up with painting, but chose to first study art history, after which he worked for M HKA for a few years as responsible for the collection. He was continuously painting, but only in 1992 did he show his work in public. After this debut De Beul has dedicated himself fully to painting.

His oeuvre has developed consistently and in characterised by considerable unity. A ‘typical De Beul’ is a rather blurry image: clearly figurative, but at the same time distant. The paintings are based on real life, but without framing reality. They do not believe in the possibility of objective perception, and even less in the representation of the world around us. Our gaze is always influenced by previous experience. Not just the depiction of an object but also the choice of it is an act coloured by subjectivity. De Beul taps into his own memories or uses randomly found images (photographs, pictures on packaging etc) because of the associations they stir in him. Once he has adopted this imagery he stays true to it.

The paintings are anything but expressive. De Beul strips them of all details that might give away any narrative or emotional details. It is not for nothing that they are ‘untitled’. The ‘unrecognisable’ is reinforced by the fuzzy painting style. The motifs appear to be enveloped in mist. In addition the images are sometimes cropped in unusual ways. Segments of the motif are excluded, previously insignificant details come into focus, or the perspective looks incorrect.

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