Industrial and Cultural Heritage exposed

In my artwork I am inspired by architecture, particularly industrial and cultural heritage. I am originally from Voorburg in The Netherlands and my interest in industrial and cultural architectural forms started during my secondary school when I wished to become an architect. My drawing-master at school was Jan Asselbergs, a famous Dutch painter. He stimulated me to elaborate this work, but in that time I choose to be a lawyer, though I always made drawings and paintings in addition to my legal career. During the past decades, the scope of my work has expanded. Now I like to draw the viewers’ attention to a reality that is not to be seen at first sight. I am fascinated by perspectives, precision and colour to create in an eclectic way a strange environment for people in historical and often ruinous buildings. My work is inspired by the paintings of famous artists like M.C. Esscher, Carel Willink and Edward Hopper.
My style is realistic, but I like to avoid photorealism. Despite the images’ realism they maintain an air of fantasy. The paintings are immersed in a sometimes surreal aura that highlights the ‘incredible’. At the same time with the narrative content I hope to take the viewer on a socially critical journey and make him or her aware of new perspectives on reality and illusions of reality.
I use a variety of media, including photography and sketches to explore architecture and space. Mostly I visit the buildings that I want to paint. I am continuously fascinated by the way drawings and paintings can be formed and reformed to create space. My paintings develop through observation and are rather a response to the places that I have visited in real life.
Often I begin my work by noticing details of the environment; the way light filters through a window, for instance, or the shadows playing on a wall. Sometimes I accentuate the phenomena I observed by the use of acrylic pasta and colour. Working backwards and forwards between photography and painting, I develop layers, both in the process of creation as in the work itself.
As a result my work parallels multiple layers of perception. I enjoy the investigation that is needed to figure out just what it is I am looking at. By transforming what seems to be real, I hope to reveal the complex and mysterious dimensions of reality. When the perspective of the viewer shifts or gets distorted by my paintings, new understandings of reality become possible.
Bert Hermans Curriculum Vitae
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