Apeldoorn artist Serge de Vries (1968) graduated from the University of the Arts in Utrecht in 1995. He paints everyday items; wet on wet, with oil paint; realistic, but fast. “My goal is not photorealism. I want every brush stroke to show. I use that to guide you, to draw your attention to the part of the work that I find important. That part gets a little more attention than the rest; a little more detail.”
Not only objects
In addition to ordinary items, Serge’s work increasingly depicts spaces and landscapes. “I’m becoming more interested in atmosphere. Not just the lighting, but also the question, ‘What is this place like? Is it warm or chilly, nice or not?’ That is the feeling I aim to capture in my work.”
Serge is also no stranger to portraits. “For a long time, I didn’t think I could paint portraits. I’m glad I finally took the plunge. Painting portraits has changed the way I work. A single brushstroke in the wrong place can destroy the likeness. Portraits take even more discipline to stick to your subject. I now also utilise that discipline when painting objects. This candy is just as important, I tell myself.”
Serges work is all about emotions, whether he is painting a doughnut or a Dinky toy. “Someone was recently annoyed by a brushstroke in one of my works. I love that. My work moved him. That’s what I do it for. I want people to feel something when they see one of my paintings. Anger, surprise or happiness; or even just the emotion of a memory. As long as my work evokes a feeling, I’m on the right track.”
“A while ago, a son and daughter bought a painting of a nail for their elderly father who used to be a carpenter. He was moving to a nursing home and they had to empty his house. He couldn’t take much with him, almost everything had to go. The painting was their way of giving him something back.”
Serge’s work is on display in various galleries, including Galerie Posthuys, Artacasa and GrachtenGalerie. You are also welcome to visit the atelier. View Serge’s available works and his portfolio.