Fully committed to the art of painting, Dirk Eelen is a genuine artist. He has produced a large body of work that is investigating specific themes using 8mm films as the basis for his paintings. He also works from photographic material. Dirk Eelen explores their narratives by creating series through the depiction of carefully selected stills. His iconography is mainly figurative in a representational sense. He works in series featuring portraits of people, nature and the horror of war in Syria.
Given the virtuosity of his painting technique, it is clear that Eelen has an interest in the long tradition of painting. His style draws on masters of the 17th-century. The smooth surface of his oil paintings on canvas is often referencing the tenebrist style by dark backgrounds. At first sight, he creates paintings within indeterminate places characterized by a rather somber color palette and a strong modelling light, which subtly renders its subject with a smooth touch. Dirk Eelen succeeds in establishing a contemporary approach to painting, by depicting his own perception on personal and collective memories with a particular intimacy.
Dirk Eelen (°1974, Leuven) lives and works in Leuven. After graduating in archaeology at KU Leuven University, he followed his passion for painting by obtaining a master's degree of Visual Art at Sint-Lukas Brussels. Since 2004 he is a full-time painter.
Solo exhibitions include Shallow Waters (2019) and Nuit debout (2018) in Gallery 15/17, Antwerp, Belgium; Il faut cultiver notre jardinin Chateau de Voltaire, Ferney-Voltaire, Switzerland (2016) and Syria - as seen on YouTube in the Egg, Brussels, Belgium (2013). He has also taken part in several group exhibitions in Belgium and abroad.