Photography or Painting?

“Is This The Poem I Promised You?”

In this series of blogs I want to take the reader in the process to the end result, the series 'Is This The Poem I Promised You?' A series of 10 conceptual artworks in which 'being at home' is central. In this second part my fascination for painting and photography.


My tool is photography, but I am also interested in painting because of the endless possibilities to vary with, for example, the perspective and the colors. The interaction between realistic and abstract touches me in particular.

I often wonder where photography transitions into painting. The old masters already worked from the principle that they painted what they saw in front of them: a landscape, a still life, or a portrait. Later, photographs were used to record the image so that it could be repainted in a studio. And even now we record what we see with our mobile phones. But not every photo is immediately art.

Although much contradictory information has been written about what is meant by (photo) art, a more or less generally accepted view is that the end result leaves an impression on the viewer's subconscious.

My challenge for “Is This The Poem I Promised You?” was to develop a method to make a painting but through photography. Capturing something with photography as a painting? Create something that isn't there, create a story? Then the result is no longer a photo, but a concept that touches and amazes the viewer.

After a longtime experimenting, I have now found a way to work as a painter with 'my' medium (photography). By creating the spaces myself, I can also apply the alienating perspective that often occurs in painting. Actually, I make a huge 'diorama'. By working in the room with different, sometimes more than 30, lamps and shaping the light through the color filters, I can then color the room and thus 'paint with light'. Those color filters are an important element in my work, just like a painter has access to brushes and paint, I work with color filters to express my feelings.

In painting everything is often equally sharp, while a traditional photo has depth of field. Like the human eye, the lens is unable to focus on a very large area. Because I work in a painterly way and also because I think everything there is to see is equally important. That is why every item has to be equally sharp so that the viewer can observe all the details.

November 23, 2021