Raphaël Hermans (1974) has a great love of both the visual arts and music and combines the two with considerable passion. Growing up in an artistic family where there was plenty of scope for creativity, he was encouraged to develop both of his talents from a young age. Since 2008 the self-taught musician and painter has been active in both fields as a bass player and visual artist whose works have been added to many private and corporate collections.
He creates his – largely abstract – paintings and collages by adding layer after layer and sometimes applies as many as 20 layers of paint to create the final image. He enjoys exploring the juxtaposition of contrasts and will depict both feelings of tension and the security of being loved in the same composition. Up until a few years ago he imposed rigorous constraints on himself. However, he now allows himself far more freedom in the artistic process. When painting, he always listens to music because it disengages the rational mind and allows the intuition free rein so, as an artist, he is guided by the painting. He also paints far more spontaneously than before, which results in canvases full of momentum, vitality, intensity and expressiveness.
While he chooses traditional subjects, such as landscapes and portraits, his paintings are by no means purely representative. His intuition leads him on an adventurous exploration of the dimension out of which the subject arises. He paints more or less recognisable forms and subjects that evoke a range of associations and lend themselves to individual interpretation by the viewer because of the spontaneous and intuitive way in which they are depicted.
Under my skinThe title of his Miffy statue is Under my skin. ‘I superimposed a fairly abstract x-ray image on Miffy’s body. If you look closely, you can see that it is a human rib cage, which suggests that Miffy embodies a human essence. Personally, I think it’s Dick Bruna, who has crept inside her skin. The two have become one: neither can exist without the other.’