Netwerken, 200 x 200 cm, 2009, acrylics on linen
Fik van Gestel (°1951) lives and works in Gierle close to Turnhout. After studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium he debuted in the early 80s. His paintings were quickly noticed and related to the Italian 'Transavanguardia’ and the German ‘Neue Wilden’ as neo-expressionist. He has long been shaken by this "stamp". Over the years he has explored his paintings, refining the subtleties to establish his own style.
He also has a strong sense of light and colour, but undoubtedly, his tactile sensibility is the most striking. This sensibility allows him to focus on the nuances of the paint while working. He looks for the essence of the painting in the painting process itself. It is not only a physical but a mental process by which the subject of his painting is contained in his thoughts, feelings and his experiences with the world surrounding him. Fik van Gestel was a painting teacher for over thirty years at the Hogeschool Sint-Lukas Brussels, Belgium. After his career as a teacher, he began to take a very close look at his own work again which has resulted in a renewed interest. His recent work combines tranquility and tension, creating a powerful beauty.