Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dirk De Bruycker

Dirk De Bruycker is a Belgian-born artist who currently divides his time between Santa Fe, NM and Granada, Nicaragua.

'I think some of the intensity and sensuality of Latin America has crept into my work. There is a feeling of unease here below the surface that is palpable and yet it is so beautiful here. The force of life here is so strong; it permeates everything… you can literally hear things grow. I think it is some of that intensity of life, which is very different from my cooler northern European sensibilities, that I have allowed to surface in the paintings.'

I wanted to speak a bit about a favorite painter I admire. Dirk De Bruycker. I remember the first time I saw his work. It was 1999 at Jan Maiden Fine Art in Columbus Ohio.

I first stopped by on the Saturday before the night with the artist, as she always held the artist talk on a Sunday. Which in my opinion was so perfect. As Sunday always kinda has a laziness to it. A willingness to hang around and talk about painting.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Walking into a gallery filled with such deep orange and red colors. It was an uneasiness I had not felt in quite some time. The specter of the new...paintings I didn't know could have existed 5 minutes before, were now staring me in the face.

The paintings on the right side of the gallery were the ones which touched me immediately, and still are kind of my favorites of the work he has accomplished. Maybe because it is the first works I saw of his. Maybe because aside from a few more paintings, it is the only work I have had the pleasure of witnessing in person.

I walked into the back of the gallery to give my usual hello to Jan, as I came around I witnessed something I have never before seen in a gallery or in any other artists studio. A painting lying on the floor...getting ready to be hung. Man I wish now that I had the camera I have now, as it was an amazing site. A brilliantly burn umber orange with streaks of asphaltum in a grid so black into the canvas, and it appeared to be not even quite 100% dry yet. Later Dirk told me that these paintings have a tendency to have a sheen with the asphalt when it is first applied, over time it turns into a deep matte color. I will never forget this painting, as I hope to one day have it in my collection...Jan if you are reading this, you know which one it was...I WANT THAT ONE!!!!

The next day I came in for the artist talk, came across Jan and Ben Maiden. And proceeded to ask who the artist was. I came upon a gentleman, slim build, who to me...looked kinda like David me. He, like so many other artists whom I admire, spoke with a great tone to their voice and spoke as though he had so many many other times. Amongst all the other painters that must have been visiting that day. I still think I had the most impact on him. I even made sure to wait around afterwards to get his autograph in the book they were giving away at the show.

BIG GIGANTIC THANKS going out to Jan and Ben Maiden...for if they hadn't been in Columbus and had a gallery, I wouldn't know about half of the artists I know of today.

"A migrating monarch's wings beat a blue black that rapidly expands the eye. The moth is the palimpsest of the soul in flight to the next world and back. Night blooms in the ultraviolet center of a poppy. The fundamental exploration of the mystery is all De Bruycker is after. His only dogma: intense sustained wonder. The point of art is to bring spirit to matter. Dirk De Bruycker does this exceedingly well." - Jon Carver


  1. This is my first result for a google search on Dirk De Bruycker, you've written with the same enthusiasm I'm feeling right now. These paintings definitely capture an essence of botanical mystique and seem to mirror both the artists locations around the globe, and love of paint. I hope to see one in person!

  2. Thanks Lucy. It's always great to help introduce people to new artists. I don't know where you are in the world but if you do a search on him, he might just be showing somewhere around you. Too bad he doesn't show in Columbus anymore though.


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Columbus, Ohio, United States