I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Stef Driesen (b. 1966) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium and studied at PHIKO, Hasselt, Belgium, Academie Voor Schone Kunsten, Hasselt, Belgium, and SHIVKV, Genk, Belgium. He brings forward an interest in a more ambient space, providing atmospheric presence in the work.
Influenced by the works of Northern European Old Masters, Stef Driesen’s paintings often incorporate references to art history through their colours, compositions, and subject matter.
Through this lineage, Driesen draws from his own personal experiences to create beautifully expressive canvases evoking both emotional and physical sensuality. Using his own sexual identity as a platform for investigation, Driesen’s work expands upon the theme of man and nature: each canvas conceals a human form within his abstracted landscapes, creating a symbiosis between the romantic sublime and mortal carnality.
Using a fleshy, earthy palette, Driesen’s canvases blur the bounds between tangible and psychological space. Watery grounds, delicate brushwork, and intensified tones lend a sense of dream-like terrain, translating materiality of paint into ephemeral fields redolent with contemplation, desire, and loss. In their poetic articulation, Driesen’s paintings convey the intimacy of the human condition, rendering it equally fragile and heroic.
The artist’s work is represented in numerous institutions including Mark Foxx, LA, Harris Lieberman, New York, Foundation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Saatchi collection, Dayton Art Institute, Kunstmuseum Aan Zee, Oostende, MADRE Museum, Naples, and Neuberger Museum of Art.
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