Onno Boerwinkel

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Biography

‘My pastels are a type of “extract”, the remainders of an experience of beauty, wonder, or desire.’

The works of Onno Boerwinkel (Middelburg, 1950) speak a language of living tradition. He finished his education in 1975 at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Boerwinkel starts painting with oil paint but switches mainly to pastels halfway through the 80’s. This allows him to combine painting and drawing.

Boerwinkel does not use any clear-cut technique and works often on more pastels at once. This way he tries to stay excited about painting and avoids any risks of blocking up. The final result is never predetermined, it stems out of the creative process. Boerwinkel builds his work up in various layers of pastel that he fixates throughout time. The artist scratches, polishes en sweeps in his paintings to recover the underlying colours. This creates a very dynamic and lively whole that defines Boerwinkel’s distinctive atmosphere in his work. In the last step he applies loose contours with charcoal, which are very typical for his work.

Boerwinkel wants to create a feeling of recognition with the audience by painting everyday situations that he mainly finds in France and Italy. He is fascinated by the Mediterranean culture and lifestyle; it is like time has stopped here. ‘I believe in keeping traditions alive. Tradition literally means: transmission or conveying. Or, rhetorically speaking: don’t we just all want to keep the good things in life going?’

Due to his special pastel technique and his choice of location, which he depicts, he shows his desire towards romance and affinity with the nineteenth and twentieth century. He connects the world of then to the world of now.

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