Do you also have the feeling that sometimes paintings in art contests come off worst if they have to compete with performance art (probably in the name of anti-commerce) ? These works by Sarah De Vos (entitled ‘Paintings to myself when I am 80) are, admittedly, eye-catchers but, even more, they appeal to the hart and the mind. They might be beautiful but, above all else, they are true in considerable depth. They invite the viewer to elevate himself to a higher level of consciousness. It’s also a kind of performance art. The focus of the performance is simply elsewhere: on the viewer.
The works scream ‘nostalgia’. But not in the sense of a sad retrospect or not only. With these works she kinda looks ahead realising that it is the only way to engage life with more vitality. The serie of paintings are all scenes from her life which she introduces in a setting similar to watching a flickering movie in a little dark room. As soon as the observation ends and you return in a flash to the present, emotion and an incomprehensible sadness make way for another insight: that anyone should count its blessings. Her blessings take the form of a deep respect for the small things and a certain self-reflection. With that reflexion, the scenes get another significance and become suddenly, despite the dark palette, colorful, tangible and radiant. From a technical point of view there is also nothing amiss in this story: the glow, the density and the intensity of the works amplifies the experience. It feels like a warm flood of ‘joie de vivre’ that is going right through you. You suddenly realize that it is not about the portraited objects or not only: they represent gratitude with a strong desire for an avid life. It’s the present, the past and the future immortalized in one painting. You wish, as it where, to put on your boots for that autum stroll in the forest. Her works are exhibited at the Markten in Brussels on occasion of the exposition organised with the nominees of the Art Contest 2015. (Images courtesy the artist).