Multi media artist – ° 1962 Japan
“My aesthetic sense was formed at a young age by what surrounded me: the narrow residential spaces of Japan and the mental escapes from those spaces that took the forms of manga and anime.” – Takashi Murakami –
When Japanese artist Takashi Murakami coined the term Superflat in 2001, he launched one of postmodern art’s most invigorated movements.
Based on the compilation and compression of centuries’ worth of Japanese “flat” art aesthetics, and inspired by the country’s distinctively unique post World War II anime and manga craze, he inspired other artists to join him in putting Japan on the art world map. Often categorized as a Japanese form of Pop Art, Superflat has become an international phenomenon, infiltrating all areas of consumer culture from high to low art.
Takashi Murakami loves all things anime and manga—so much so that he often refers to himself as an “otaku,” loosely translated as a “sci-fi geek.” It’s nearly impossible to imagine Murakami as anything but the essence of cool.
Mr. DOB is Takashi Murakami’s alter ego and first signature character, appearing in his works as early as 1993. With this smiling creature, Murakami hoped to create a Japanese icon with universal appeal, in the spirit of Hello Kitty and Pikachu. To do so, he drew inspiration from characters in Eastern and Western popular culture, including the adorable Japanese manga creature Doraemon and Walt Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse.
While the first Mr. DOB had a somewhat fierce appearance with sharp, menacing teeth, the character grew cuter and cuter over time, setting the stage for the iconic Mr DOB/DOBTOPUS.
wildlife photographer – ° 1970 belgium
My portraits and landscapes reflect the love and deep respect I feel for the planet’s magnificent wild creatures.
Inspired by her love for nature, Griet Van Malderen, a self-taught wildlife photographer from Flanders in Belgium, has been exploring Africa’s wild places for the past decade in search for remarkable photographs. She went from using a considerably basic compact camera to equipping herself with the highest quality professional cameras.
In A field principally dominated by men, it is rare to find a female photographer equipped with her cameras and lenses in the African bush! Griet Van Malderen is the exception to the rule. Her talent was born the day she first set foot in South Africa and since then, she consistently strives to surpass herself whilst at the same time respecting her subjects.
Her captivating portraits and landscapes reflect the love she feels for the continent’s magnificent wild creatures. This deep respect for all life is deeply embedded in her images.
Alongside her work as a fine art photographer, she has been a strong advocate for wildlife conservation and the environment. A portion of the profits from the sale of each photograph is donated to conservation organizations such as The Mara Elephant Project and the Uganda Wildlife Authority .
visual artist – ° 1988 the netherlands
TRANSCENDING THE BOUNDARIES
In her compositions of large-scale gemstones, Pleunie Buyink (*1988, The Netherlands) transcends the boundaries of both material and abstraction.
Her extraordinary abstract art objects, dazzling “Limber Gems”, composed of liquid rubber components, gold-tone foil and criss-crossed by coloured powder pigment, resemble large scale geometrical cut gemstones that extend light from all angles.
OUTSIDE THE BOX MATERIALS
Pleunie Buyink is a graduate from the famous Design Academy in the Netherlands. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in fashion design from the Artemis Art School Rotterdam.
Her love for outside the box materials is a key element in Pleunie’s work. She loves to experiment and to create new materials and bringing those together using innovative techniques.
For her graduation project, she developed a never seen composition material, combining different layers and materials of which rubber is a core ingredient. The composition material is called Limber Gems.
TOUCHED BY THE LIGHT
As Buyink outpours, mixes and diffuses the components in her large-scale moulds, the fascinating interplay between the crinkly background, the rough edges and the smooth surfaces appears.
Once the light touches the finished Limber Gems, they behave as chameleons playing with incoming light, reflection and colour. Each time the light changes, the visual expressiveness of the Limber Gem will also change.
THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY
Buyink’s Limber Gems can be stretched and shaped to the contours of any corner or curve.
Reminiscent of Dali’s soft or melting watches in ‘The Persistence of Memory’, these art objects are also flexible and obedient and they can be moulded to lay on the floor or be wall mounted.
LAUNCHED INTO THE HIGHEST RANKS OF EMERGING ARTISTS
Despite her young age, Pleunie’s fascinating objects are a hit in the European art scene and have launched her almost overnight into the highest ranks of emerging artists.
Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Vogue Living, Frame and many international design and art magazines and was one of the highlights during the Dutch Design Week and Salone del Mobile Milan.
Buyink’s oeuvre has been showcased at various exhibitions in Paris, Saint-Tropez, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Istanbul.
Neuf Lignes Obliques – Nine Straight Lines
Neuf lignes obliques is a steel monument on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in the South of France, by French artist Bernar Venet.
It was commissioned to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1860 annexation of the County of Nice by France.
The sculpture is made of nine steel beams, 30 metres long, which meet at their top.
The preparatory sculpture is now available in our gallery
Executed in 2009
ISABELLE SCHELTJENS, QUEEN OF DOTS
Isabelle Scheltjens has given classical pointillism an original and contemporary twist. She developed a new way of portrait making, in which thousands of pieces of glass in specific patterns optically form an image. Pointillists used small, distinct dots of pure colour on their canvases, placed in close proximity so that they would blur into new colours. Isabelle applies a similar technique, using layers of coloured glass instead of paint. She immersed herself in the understanding of colour and creates her portraits with maniacal intensity – featuring intricate detail, lighting and shadows. The colourful pieces of glass are like the dots of paint used by the pointillists: forming an abstract image up close, yet a dramatic and precise portrait from a distance.
DISTANCE CREATES BEAUTY
Up close we see an abstract image, seemingly unfinished – a captivating combination of bright colours. However, when viewed at a distance, our eyes fuse the individual pieces of glass into one solid portrait. The time-consuming and laborious technique is the antithesis to the frantic pace of life in a ‘disposable’ society.
Isabelle achieves striking optical effects with her technique: she captures the dance of light and colour in a way a photograph transforms it into a black & white, or sometimes a colourful, portrait – the fascinating result of a process which relies on the perceptive ability of the viewer’s eye and mind.
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
Everything looks better from a distance than up close. Isabelle’s portraits require the viewer’s participation, as they change depending on the viewing position. Her art gives shape to the disparity between what something appears to be and what something actually is. The fragility of glass represents the transience of beauty.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Mosaic art requires a talent for seeing the bigger picture, even more so when the mosaics are almost photorealistic. From afar, Isabelle’s artwork depicts the model naturalistically. Up close, the image is an abstract composition of thousands of individual squares. Using tiny pieces of glass, she creates portraits with intricate details and amazing depth. The mastery of this technique requires dedication, ample skill, a deep understanding of colour and lots of patience. The result is an exquisite art form which will last for generations.
THE POETRY OF DOTS
Although Isabelle’s modern-day pointillism requires technical craftsmanship, technique is merely a means to an end. The seemingly random forms and colours on the surface of the canvas come together to form a distinct, expressive, tactile image – pointillism reinvented and re-contextualised.
DIALOGUE BETWEEN ARTIST AND VIEWER
Assembling a portrait one piece at a time, while considering the work as a whole, is incredibly hard. It goes way beyond cutting a piece and getting it in the right position. Isabelle uses this challenging and time-consuming art medium to express a subject’s features, personality and mood with vibrant colours in unexpected patterns. The result is a portrait which brings a sense of wonder to the viewer, making him want to reach out and touch it.
FASCINATED WITH FACES
Faces are the first things we notice in people. We respond to faces because they reveal an individual’s personality: trustworthy or deceitful, attractive or unappealing, welcoming or reserved, … It is no wonder faces have always been central to art. Irrespective of whether they are being depicted recognisably or abstractly, we always clearly recognise them because they manifest a specific composition: a forehead, two eyes, a nose and a mouth. Isabelle is fascinated with faces and their capacity to arouse our perceptions.
Isabelle Scheltjens’ working method is truly remarkable, a modern twist on traditional stained-glass portraits. As a self-taught artist who started her career in 2014, she is on her way to big things and is becoming an internationally recognised artist, who is exhibiting worldwide.
Jacqueline Bozon (1966) grew up in the Netherlands. When she was a child she loved drawing, but the world of art seemed to exist in another sphere. Becoming an artist was an unrealistic career choice. As her father said, there was no future in that. So instead of being sent to art college, Jacqueline did teacher training, which she successfully completed in 1988. Even though she loved standing in front of a classroom, she couldn’t let go of her longing for creating art. She became increasingly enthusiastic and taught herself a range of techniques through which her artwork grew and took new turns. To develop these further, she enrolled herself in the Academy of Arts in Belgium.
Since then she has fully dedicated her time to painting, finding inspiration, learning and studying art.
Jacqueline Bozon uses all her experiences, encounters and observations in her work and converts them into a colorful interplay of lines. Color is her language, a universal language that can be easily understood, one that also has several translations. Just think of the color red; for one it stands for passion, love and warmth, for the other this color stands for fear and danger.
Her work is as mysterious as it is abstract. She paints from her feelings in a dialogue with the different materials she uses: acrylic and oil paint, plaster, silver foil, handmade paper from Nepal, sand and resin. During her travels, she is tremendously inspired by different cultures and perspectives on life, which she then transposes to the canvas.
The top layer, usually the first thing you see, is like the first impression when you meet someone. Enough for many. But if you take the time to look deeper, you will see the stratification and the artwork will slowly reveal itself.
“Art is to be seen without thinking, and to be created without thinking that it will be seen”. – Jacqueline Bozon –
Christo, who with his partner Jeanne-Claude used sculpture as a means to dramatically shift people’s understanding of iconic structures and sites, has died at 84. According to a statement released by the artist’s office, Christo died on May 31 of natural causes.
“Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realizing it,” the statement reads. “Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s artwork brought people together in shared experiences across the globe, and their work lives on in our hearts and memories.”
Bernard Buffet, artist of Saint-Tropez des Prés
In 1958, the carefree days of Saint-Tropez, Annabel Schwob and Bernard Buffet fell madly in love with eachother on the terrace of the bar de la Ponche. The region inspired many of their artistic creations including this superb original gouache from 1978.
The village, the sky and the sea, the profound blues, the tiled roofs and the famous church tower that shines in the sun, reveal the love of the artist for Saint-Tropez where he spent many summers with Annabel and their three children.
In 1958 in Saint-Tropez, the photographer Luc Fournol introduced his singer/model friend Annabel Schwob de Lure, to the painter Bernard Buffet who recently became single after his friend Pierre Bergé broke off this relationship to start a love affair with Yves Saint-Laurent.
The androgynous look of Annabel pleased him immensely. At the time Bernard was only 30 years old but had been renowned for over a decade. On December 12th 1958 he married his new muse in Ramatuelle in a very discreet ceremony. Annabel evokes her happiness in her book “Saint-Tropez d’hier et d’aujourd’hui” published in 1981. Our love was born in Saint-Tropez…
In 1958 when Bernard met Annabel in Saint-Tropez, he was already a star, his Parisian retrospective at the Charpentier gallery in the very chic Faubourg Saint-Honoré, attracted more than 100,000 visitors. It was a huge success, both with the public and the collectors.
PHILIPPE VAN GELE (Belgium 1979)
It is only in the interaction with the viewer that my paintings find their meaning ~Philippe Van Gele~
ABSTRACTION AS AN EXPANSION OF REALITY
Belgian artist Philippe Van Gele finds inspiration in the idea that abstraction can become an expansion for reality.
Instead of replicating reality, he translates reality in a new way and offers us – trough his paintings a way to reexplore and reinvent the world as we see it in our visual perception.
His works are mostly landscapes, which evoke a sense of abstract reality of foreign and distant places: Svalbard, Yosemite, mythical places with an aura of their own. Titles can be unusual or unknown names, allowing the viewer to project on it with their own wanderlust and dreams of foreign lands.
HAZY EVOCATIVE VS POWERFUL EXPRESSIVE
When it comes to techniques, Van Gele uses mostly acrylic paint, worked on at length, dripped or scratched to produce a hazy yet evocative and expressive powerful effect. The shimmer of aqueous surfaces and the amber glow of clouds are shaped with virtuosity. His works are lyrical and colorful in a way that is not ostentatious, but rather surprisingly soft and peaceful, giving them an aura of mystery.
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF THE VIEWER
Philippe Van Gele’s works have been positively received by the public mostly because they demand of the viewer an active participation: “it is only in this interaction that my paintings find their meaning”, says the artist.
The CoBrA group was a short-lived but highly influential artist collective formed in Paris. Named for the three northern European cities that its founders originated from – Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam – its approximately thirty members became known for their vigorously spontaneous, rebellious style of painting that was heavily inspired by the art of children and the mentally ill. With their intuitive methods, loose, gestural marks and strong colors, CoBrA artists have used of some of the techniques of New York School style of the same era. Yet CoBrA art is more political, and is more sensitive to the huge devastation of the European cities and people after World War II. Their democratic approach to viewing and making was inspired and further expanded what we now call Outsider Art (work made by untrained artists, especially children and the mentally ill) as a serious movement in its own right.
With artworks by: