The first time I came in contact with Belgian artist Sam Dillemans his work was in high school, when I was about fourteen. That’s a long time ago. Anyway, I remember seeing this series of women with very sharp faces and bodies. Sam Dillemans was for certain one of the artists that helped me develop my own style and I’ve been admiring his work a long time now.
When I graduated high school, back in 2012, he disappeared from the media. At the end of 2015 he came with a big announcement. He was opening his own exhibition space. Sam Dillemans is back!
So as soon as I had the time I went to Antwerp. When we arrived we were greeted by two very friendly women at the front desk. I barely could contain my excitement, I wanted to go in and admire all this beauty. The first work that I noticed was his recreation of Pieter Paul Rubens his The Descent from the Cross. The original piece is very monumental, so is Sam Dilleman his piece. Throughout his oeuvre, you can see that he has a passion for the old masters and integrates their work in his own style.
Next to the piece inspired by Rubens, there’s a portrait of Rembrandt van Rijn, on a slightly smaller scale. This is one of the pieces that I couldn’t help but walk up to multiple times. As you can see on the picture the canvas isn’t that big compared to the surrounding pieces and even then it doesn’t disappear next to the bigger format of these paintings. I just love the texture on this one. He was inspired by Rembrandt his piece, but he made it completely his own.
The exhibition spaces consists of two floors and a lot (!) of pieces. There’s so much to say about all these exhibited pieces, but I think that it’s best that you discover it for yourself. That’s why I’ll let the photos do the talking and I hope you find the time to visit this exhibition!
This year I received one of the best birthday presents, Sam Dillemans his oeuvre in one book. I really love picking up this book once in a while and just go through the pages and admire the work.