Monday, March 07, 2011

(off topic) Bernard Verkaaik

À la recherche du temps perdu
It took thirty years before Bernard Verkaaik (1946) made the jump from commercial arts to Fine Arts. A stretch of time, but not a lost one. For more than a quarter century Bernard worked as an advertising illustrator in which period he perfected his masterful craft and morphed himself into a magic realistic painter, who in a phenomenal technique and hairline brushes put down the most photorealistic scenes in oil on panel. The more he became a master of this, and his own domain, the more his desire grew to lead a life of his own making.

Nowadays Bernard leads a life without deadlines, a life without stress and hurries. Since time seems to stand still, his concentration is focused on classic ‘country’ still lifes, filled with melancholy, which are recognisable by their photographic depiction of textures and lit by a seemingly magical light source. Timeless still lifes that speak of a typical Calvinistic Holland yet painted in France.

And always there is that forceful line of a table’s edge that splits the image in two. A fault line, just as rigid as the caesura in Bernard’s professional life. The top half gives the perspective of a three year old just capable to peek over the top of the table’s edge. The bottom half an intriguing scene of Chiaroscuro. Objective, neutral, as if he were a camera, Bernard looks deep into the being of things. Everything, no matter how unimportant it may seem, is given meaning and essence. A clay pot, stone crocks, a tea towel, mushrooms, apricots, onion, garlic, cherry blossoms, pomegranate, chestnuts or bread. Timeless gifts of the earth, which, with conscientious viewing, all hold a surprising beauty.

© Pim Milo