To me, these days, any artist whose work has a resemblance to its actual real-life subject is “conservative,” so too any artist whose sense of beauty corresponds to what is considered beautiful in real life regardless of context.
Above, Beth in White . Below, Corner of Ripka and Wilde Streets .
Peter’s website is featuring his more recent work such as the latter, and the gentle observer notes a certain evolution in style, toward a less literal and more impressionistic and personal use of line and color.
I relate to PVD’s work not only on the visceral level, that I feel present at the scene, but it’s more than that. His newer work has added impact, and for that first glimpse of the scene, I’m an artist—I’m Peter, the artist—myself. He has lent me his discerning and loving eye, so that I may see what he sees, and feel it as he does.
What a gift, more a sharing really, between artist and audience.
As a matter of disclosure, Peter Van Dyck is related to me by marriage: my sister is married to his father. The names are coincidence, or kismet, depending on your view of these things.
I do hope that that provincial fact, or my tarnishing him with the “conservative” brush, does him or his work no fatal disservice. I was shown his earliest work over a decade ago, and even then it made my heart rise—life seemed just a little bit richer for having seen his work.
I’d say if there’s a conservative approach to artistry, it’s this—to show us what we strive to see but cannot, the beauty we know is there but lack the clarity of vision to perceive.
The kind artist, the lover of life and the lover of man, lends us the startlingly clear blink of his eye now and then, although it takes him hours upon hours [and a lifetime of preparation] to get it down onto his canvas.
I have stood on the corner of Ripka & Wilde and wanted to be nowhere else in creation at that very moment; I have had Beth take my breath away.
For that, to Peter Van Dyck, I am grateful, and shall be all my life.