Interview with FOODIES WEST, DECEMBER 2013

December 2013

What, to you, is the essence of hyperrealism.
Hyperrealism shows the visible world in an extreme detailed way, painted on canvas or whatever.

Why do you call it Megarealism?
I made up the term Megarealism myself. This concept is meant to make a difference with Photorealism/Hyperrealism. Mega stands for XXL and has to sound nowadays, contemporary and hip. It doesn't have the direct association with photographs. Megarealism has to do with blowing up things in a extreme realistic and painterly way. I don't just follow and copy the photo, I work out a new image in the tradition of  Dutch 17th century way of stilllivepainting. Were photography ends, my Megarealistic paintings start.

What is the most common comment you hear about your food art?
I get hungry!

Why food? What inspired you to paint food?
I really am not a foody and how contradictional!
But this ordinary subject comes along with my desire to show people their own common world. If any message, I can bring it better in this way. I love to show people light and dark, metaphores which can be seen in all my paintings. And I like to show beauty in its purity. There is no beauty without a beast, so irregularity is important to me too. All those aspects can be find in (fast)food from which temptation is actually the most important quality. To induce people to buy my images needs temptational work!


You were self-taught—how did you do it?
Watching the contemporary American Photorealistic masters Goings and Bell and the dutch masters Vermeer and Rembrandt. Just trying out to get the right light, composition and subjects


What was the first thing you painted, and why?
In this megarealistic style I did a lot of matches, folded money, a dead fly, all trompe l’oeuils. This is a beautiful painterly answer on how to trick the eye. It gave me for the first time the kick of surprising people with showing painted common things.


What did your parents (and friends) first think of your art, and have their
thoughts changed over time?
They mostly loved it, when not they are not my friends anymore haha.
Now they are even more enthousiastic and surprised about the attention my foodpaintings are getting
My father thinks nobody is interested in boring foodscapes anymore but he’s old and likes flowers more. He is proud anyway.


As an artist and megarealist, what is your greatest artistic challenge?
To improve my work constantly, trying to get closer and closer to the dna of things.

What part does “size” play in megarealism and why?
Enlargement can focus us on things we did’nt see before, unfortunately on photo this effect dissapears of course but standing in front of a work it works!

What is the most common reaction of people who see your work for the first time? Please relate a few examples.
‘Mouthwatering!’; ‘like a photograph!’: I hate that one because I intend to improve the ‘photo’ and it shows people only have one way of watching.


There is a timeless youthfulness to your work, why do you think that is?
Thanks for the big compliment! I hope to watch things freshly like a child does without preoccupationed perception.

What revelation did you have about painting that made you think—I can do this?
That happened to be when I discovered the projection of a slide on paper and drawing the outlines and details of it. It was discovered on my own, later I learned many artists do it this way (even without telling) and even Vermeer used a Camera Obscura to transfer the three dimensions of reality ino the two dimensions of the painting.

Tell me about a time—if there was one—where you wanted to quit painting; and then what happened to encourage you to keep going?
I had that moment of  desperation twice. It happened after very bad/no sales. Selling is being recognized and stimulates the feeling being on the right way. I picked up brushes again after a while because I am a painter and nothing can kill that.

Vermeer and Rembrandt influenced you—what in particular about each one?
Vermeer’s light and common subjectchoice, Rembrandt’s light and his extreme powerful perception of the irregularities of daily life, he showed this using people’s faces and people’s stand for instance.

Which artists do you like or find inspiring because of their personality? What is the characteristic that you find attractive?
I can’t say much about painter’s personalities but musicians like Paul McCartney and Sting shows me how publicminded commercial stuff can be on a artistic very high level.

Did you have a mentor? Who is it?
My soul guides me


How do you decide what you are going to paint?
Mosty of the times on the last moment and dedicated to the goal of that time of the year like shows. I try to have some alternation.

Hyperrealism requires a high level of skill—what skill is essential?

What skill(s) do you have that helps you excel above other artists—this could be technique, perception, personality, etc.
Wow this leads to dishing up. I thin all three you mentionned. I also think a matter of intelligence prevents me from copying just any photo that was taken on boring moments. I see a lot of collegues doing this: there often is not any intelligence guiding the choice they make. If you give all that precious time to one image you have to take care about a meaningful image anyway!!!

Do you ever get so connected with a painting you don’t want to sell it? What painting did you really connect with?
After they are gone I can’t regret that would be destructive. I have a couple of works from different periods kept in my studio for myself. I can reproduct the work in a magnificent way nowadays and after all I am the mastermind of the ideas I painted and that is far enough for me.

Which exhibition will you never forget—and why?
The first show at OK Harris because only 10 people were there at the opening ;-(

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