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Dick Pieters

Self-portrait, 1979

Dick Pieters (1941) depicts not only himself here, for a monster-like creature perches on his shoulder. Pieters derives inspiration for these fantasy figures from nature. He collects desiccated mice and other small animals, for instance, because of the beauty of decay: ‘The knowledge that you will e ... ventually die eats away at you.’ This self-portrait is not the only work for which Pieters used himself as a model. He takes his own body as an example of posture and expression for most of the male figures in his work. He prefers not to allow others into his studio while working. Only his wife may pose for him and she can be recognized in most of the women in his paintings. Pieters studied for a year at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Antwerp, but then decided to go his own way. He uses an incredibly fine – and thus labour-intensive – stippling technique in sometimes as many as eight layers; a painting takes him months. He begins with dark colours and then applies increasingly lighter layers of paint.
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Dick Pieters
Oil on panel
25 x 20 cm (h x w)
Type of object