An encounter with the work of BV kindles, besides the evident aesthetical experience, curiosity and bewilderment.
Words fail us, and this lack results in the urge to investigate, and search for a simile, or the next translation via spontaneous associations.
BV calls her work 'coincidental art'; coincidence and brief intuitive elements, impressions and epiphanies give her work a loose form, and make the invisible visible.
The encounter with her work, I find, happens on this level, and in this way, it is an encounter with the Other, and a facet of our own self, that had become opaque.
We look at a face in a spot, or a fly, or an Indian chief appears like in a Rorschach test. Who was the first to see this fly, BV, or you? Who discovered it? Who's fly is it? Or did it just land on the sheet?
The visitor or the reader finds an image, or reads the self with her help, from line to line towards the end of one of her poems.
BV s portraits are coincidental, in the sense that they find their origins in the co-incidence of the subconscious of the artist and of the portraitee. The visual features, pose, face or façade of a person who realizes he/she is being watched, the imago, aren’t to be found on the canvas. En lieu, BV composes, or recomposes the portraitee by different elements that are in essence intuitive or associative finds that spring from a subconscious encounter, the moment of meeting between artist and portraitee. Impressions, forms and colors, and sometimes symbols are combined into an abstract yet coherent whole, dense with meaning and signifiers, just like in a dream; a true portrait, which surprises, and renews the curiosity of the subject into his/her own unknown self. Gazing at yourself, not the imago, through the eyes and the mind of the other, self, yet mirrored by the Other, and therefore imago, after Rimbaud: je est un autre, albeit another other than you'd have expected.
- Johan Huybrechts: psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and connoisseur of modern art
I would call my work coincidental art. I chiefly work with coincidence, and the ensuing images that follow are totally unpredictable figures, e.g. a lions mouth, an insect, a fish and other figures. In my most recent work, I try to portray the inner person. On meeting the person, I associate her/him with colours that I put on canvas, which almost necessarily results in abstract work. The approach is like poetry. It is about the unspeakable. I do not work on a normal canvas, but I use treated linen. The colour of the canvas is chosen according to the person. The choice of real gold or silver has a spiritual meaning. My work aims to connect to the fast-changing world where humanity risks losing itself. Men will have to look up to the inner self to survive. A portrait is about that. I want also to connect to the work of Christian Boltanski and Anselm Kiefer who got inspired by Richard Wagner concerning the importance of the Inconscient, the social role of the artist and the Gesamtkunstwerk. That means that different art forms merge into each other.
- Bea Verhofstede