Dirk de Bruycker’s unique process-driven style, built from an unusual mix of materials, begets visually complex canvases of vibrant splotches and drawn patterns. However, the effect of the bold palette and dense colors is much more visceral, and the artist negotiates the production of these highly emotive stained canvases with an intuitive, rather than rational sensibility, that he describes as “innate – passive knowledge.”
De Bruycker’s translucent washes create a unique luminosity within the ethereal spreading colors revealing a contemplative awareness of what he calls a “fragile beauty, a kind of dangerous beauty.” He has recalled encountering the desiccated body of a butterfly, eaten by ants, in his studio and gasping at the overwhelming beauty and tragedy of the event, and he says “I’ve been trying to capture that moment of gasping ever since in my paintings, and in a way that is consistent with the intuitive process-oriented approach to painting that I favor.”
With a combination of spiritual sources, de Bruycker takes this uncomfortable foundation and intuits images that are much easier to live with. He translates the tradition of pure expressionism, historically developed from experiences with human suffering, into more subtly lyrical and elegant acceptance and awe.
Although he was born in Ghent, Belgium, de Bruycker currently divides his time between Nicaragua and New Mexico, and he admits that the sensuality and intensity of Latin American life have crept into his cooler Northern European sensibilities making his paintings “much brighter, with more color, less melancholic and conceptual, more overtly intuitive.” Yet, like his process, which reveals underpinnings of asphalt, successive layers of liquid color, and images of watermarks and mandalas, his oeuvre recalls the influences of his nomadic lifestyle.