Bulls, elephants, horses are amongst the biggest terrestrial mammals. They are the breath that exhales the essence of the earth, they are primitives and nobles. Symbolically loaded in our collective unconscious they inspired the founding myths of humanity and still take part in the history of men.

Black and white, the principal colours of the work, are also primitives. They are the first opposing forces of all that gives birth to forms and matter, recesses and mounds, rhythm and music. Like darkness and light in the First Book, black and white are the beginning, the genesis of creation, and a constant recall of origin and essential energy that enlivens it.


The figurative approach in Hester van Wijngaarden’s painting is concentrated in the resolutely realistic look. It is the bias in favour of mimetic representation of the subject. The eye is found between what exists and what is seen, itself painted like an attempt to a non-subjective view of the world. Hester challenges the personal approach that would be to transform deliberately.
Reality is not to be
avoided. Reality is neither a dream nor a philosophy. Reality is. The eye reminds us of this with a singular insistence.
Do we need the courage, the wisdom and the nobility of the “Breathers” to make us see with these eyes and inspire us? Perhaps. Those Giants of the history of men under Hester’s brush strokes have become mentors.

In the light of the protecting eye begins a reflexion about the world and our connection to it, a thought emerges. In between the time that passes – the aged elephant - and the time that stops – the sacrificed bull - , exists a time for freedom or release – the horse. This is the keystone of a new parable. The horse is the only actor of the trilogy who is shown in complex positions and sometimes released from weightlessness. He translates in a fiery lyricism the exaltation of living.

The pictorial approach proposed by Hester van Wijngaarden is definitely the one of a vibrant and kinaesthetic nature. Through the shapes of the body, the swelling of the veins, the prominence of the muscles, the thickness of the fissured skins, she offers an image to be touched, kneaded and felt. In the end it is a physical world she evokes, invokes and provokes, doggedly producing living matter from a level surface.

We can remember the words of Paul Eluard: “The poet inspires more than he is inspired himself”. The painter inspires.


For all that, if the effort of figuration prevails in the approach of the living, it ends up giving way to the injunction of the “I” and the subjective projection. The red and blue spots and traces remind us of that. Even more the abstraction on the background, whose curves and straights isolate the subject from its natural environment, replaces them in a universe of segmental geometry, waves and magnetic fluxes.

There are no trees, no meadows, no skies. It’s the vision of the matrix mesh, against which the subject stands.

Finally the dichotomy prevails.

Between nature and culture the animal is observing us.



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