Paintings…..At close inspection difficult to read and almost abstract, they slowly open themselves up and become legible when the viewer takes a step back and looks at them once again from a distance. The jagged, blurry lines that distort our view from close-up reveal themselves to be pixels or the lines of electronic interference that sometimes distort the images on a television screen.
From a distance, however, the lines become neutralised and the scenes depicted becomes so clear that we wonder why we didn’t see them properly in the first place. “Dallas – 1963”, for example, depicts a scene from the assassination of John F. Kennedy, while “Poland – 1944” presents a view of the ominous gate of the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz.
Nevertheless, for the artist it is not important what the image actually depicts, but rather the way in which that image is represented. Eddy De Vos does not practise politics with his paintings. He neither condones nor criticises the events taking place in these images. He merely appropriates them to investigate, experiment and analyse his own ideas of what painting is and can be today in the age of the plethora of global, digital images.
What we see is not an objective document of the respective event, but rather one possible way of seeing it. In doing so, De Vos raises important questions about visual and cognitive perception and breathes new life into the medium of painting, thus opening new possibilities for a medium that refuses to die despite the numerous near deaths that it has suffered throughout the 20th century. The MUHKA publication is available at www.ftn-books.com