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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Jan Bollaert

In general, my goal is to combine the artistic craftsmanship of classical painting with the limitless possibilities of imagination in contemporary art. I strive to make a well-made aesthetic work of art by maintaining quality and using any technique that’s available to me. If I have anything to convey at all in my work the very least I can do is to paint it well. With this being said, and since the majority of the art world wants to categorise every artist, Neo-popart is as close as I can come to defining my style. It is not a retro-style. I’m not endeavouring to revive the sixties or copy any of the great giants of popart. No, I want to make contemporary, post-conceptual art. There is enough pretentious, cerebral, coolly calculated, analytical and de-constructive art out there already.

My intent is to bring back the emotions in art, even the most simple and sentimental ones. I don’t shy away from incorporating kitschy elements in order to make a point - love the idea of “camp” even if it’s “tongue in cheek” occasionally. I want to bring about emotions but not in an abstract way. All my work is 100% figurative. I’m not directly expressing my emotions on the canvas. I’m trying to create something that will evoke an emotion or response from the viewer. Those are two totally different concepts.

I do not consider my art as personal therapy – a medium to exorcise the “demons” in my head. My desire is to provoke positive emotions in the viewer by combining different elements, which aren’t necessarily related to each other in a rational manner. Combining the elements together should make one, hopefully intriguing, new image.

Also I’m not trying to tell a story through my work. My art isn’t narrative - it’s not prosaic, but perhaps more poetic. I attempt to provide the viewer with enough interesting elements to make up his own mind – if they so choose. This is not to say that my paintings are void of my own personal emotions or ideas. Far from it, but that is not the point; my ideas and emotions are incorporated within a work whether consciously or not. However, the viewer’s interpretation of the work is as valid as mine. I merely put it out there and hope it touches someone, without having to explain it.

There is only one way to see what I want to create and/or impart and that is to look at the paintings. If they don’t touch the observer in some way then I have failed. It is not my intent to tell the observer what to feel. I don’t want to persuade the viewer in some specific direction. I simply want to touch their heart and possibly stimulate their mind anyway I am able.

Jan Bollaert


1976-1978 Academy of the City of Mortsel – general drawing and portrait

1982–1984 Academy of the City of Mortsel – portrait, model drawing and sculpture

1985-1989 Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp – graphic design and illustration,

graduated with honors

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