"The atmosphere I create has to be enough for the viewer to want to dive into the complex worlds I paint'.
Hans Deuss (Amsterdam, 1948) graduated at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam where he was taught by Melle and Herman Gordijn. Here he developed his interest in magical realism. The influence of Carel Willink (1900-1983) is apparent in his work. Although painting was a sidetrack during his studies, Deuss decided to focus mainly on this medium after his graduation. He considers himself a self-taught painter who developed his own style and technique. When Deuss starts an oil painting, he first makes very detailed sketch to get his world of ideas on paper. Then he selects the best sketch and takes it as a starting point for the painting. In the final work of art, the artist strives to keep the atmosphere and the essence of the preliminary sketch. Deuss uses a layered technique in which the painting is built up out of three or four layers of thinly applied oil paint.
In Deuss' work, nature seems to take on the battle against human presence. Classical and exotic buildings contest with emerging foliage: trees, bushes and shrubs force themselves through constructions or loom in the distance. The architectural elements are surrounded by vast skies and water. Stairs that lead upstairs or downstairs provide a feeling of space, emphasized by a far-away horizon. This is where freedom beckons.
The structures that Deuss paints borrow from fantasy as well as from reality. They are based on memories, of his childhood years for example, or glancing through old photoalbums or his travels to Mexico where he learned about the old Aztec culture. He can lose himself entirely in his own world: 'I try to bring meaning into my work, something that relates to me, something that drives me or keeps me busy. In the end they are expressions of my emotions'.