I am really, really excited about an artist I have just discovered. His name is Philippe de Kraan and he has just taken New York by storm ... but more on this later. Please take a minute to absorb the richness of a de Kraan painting.
Philippe De Kraan was born in Amsterdam, Holland and now lives in Tarnagulla, Central Victoria, Australia. Philippe is controversial, yet intriguing, an enigma to many insisting his diverse art works speak a unique language of their own to anyone with insight to appreciate them on their own merit and individuality. His sought-after character studies in brush and ink (see below) have always been a conversation piece, simply because they are unique and the arduous journey to produce them is obvious to all.1
Philippe de Kraan has held 49 solo art exhibitions across Europe and in Australia. In Europe, when he was young and determined de Kraan was driven by his popularity with the press at every exhibition throughout Holland, especially Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In the South of Holland, he also managed two art galleries: one showing his own works exclusively, that being quite a novelty for an artist.1
The work de Kraan found most fulfilling however were the studies he did of ordinary people in the street as shown above. He paid sitting fees to beggars, fishermen, children and the elderly, who proved to be exciting and positive models with life experience dramatically etched onto their faces. De Kraan used most of these character studies, mainly in brush and ink then, for his many solo exhibitions around Europe.1
Whilst most of Philippe's paintings focus on the human figure there are a few which deviate. His Dutch heritage is very much present in Artist City - an oil painting (91cm x 122cm).
Over the years, expressionism has taken precedence over his brush and ink art works, giving de Kraan now the freedom to explore a different dimension in art and to express a free will to exaggerate realism using oils or water colours in an array of stimulating shapes and styles, always involving the human form.1
In 2022 Philippe De Kraan was voted seventh place in the global top 10 most influential and valuable artists by Los Angeles Beverly Arts (LABA). De Kraan is a regular exhibitor at the major art collector US exhibitions and was the only Australian on the top 10 list. 1.
And then on 13 April 2023 Philippe hit New York (his 49th solo exhibition) with a storm of creative expressionsim. The opening of De Kraan Art Museum by New York International Contemporary Art Society saw a marriage of physical art with digital art. If you click on the teapot below you will be taken to the website viewing room where you can feast on the de Kraan creative world.
Philippe de Kraan however didn't attend the opening of the New York exhibition opting to stay at home in country Victoria.
Reports say his works were acclaimed at the dedicated museum’s opening night. According to the society, de Kraan was inspired by the “indomitable spirits of Van Gogh and Rembrandt to create art and express their passions against all odds, de Kraan strives to create timeless stories from a blank canvas that people can relate to and love today and tomorrow.2
“De Kraan’s innovative style combines a fresh, novel form of impressionism and expressionism. He creates lush, vibrant, and textured portraiture and landscapes. His visually rich works exhibit a luminosity and a whimsical sense of fantasy.2
Viewing the online collections of the paintings by Philippe de Kraan is like walking through wonderland. His art works are far more than creative masterpieces - they are food for the soul as each one has an embedded narrative which the viewer has to unravel within their own interpretation.
De Kraan’s involvement in his work is hard to explain, except that his emotions largely influence his art, to the extent that he tries to transfer his own subconscious into the character he portrays. With each endeavour, de Kraan seeks to capture the very essence of the subject in his own idiosyncratic manner, whether the subject is real or imaginary. In this, he acknowledges Rembrandt as a strong influence, also van Gough, both making this same trait fundamental to character studies, through each using their own individual technique. 3
Today we have only sampled one platter of artistic delights but we will be back with more I can promise you because there is so much to discover with this artist. The New York International Contemporary Art Society says de Krans’s paintings have been compared to the post-impressionist George Seurat’s pointillism style and that he was compared to iconic expressionist painter Paul Klee. I am very interested in the use of pattern in art and so very soon I am going to present a post for you comparing the works of Philippe de Kraan with those of South African artist Tendai Makufa.
There are no boundaries or defined borders here - the creative world of Philippe de Kraan is endless - a never ending story. He is on a QUEST FOR PASSION, TO MASTER THE MEANING OF EXPRESSION