Persona May, 23rd 2024 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 467 - Rieja van Aart Revisited

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 467 – Rieja van Aart Revisited
Three years ago, Rieja van Aart showed her photos made from simple materials in the WM Gallery in Amsterdam. The exhibition was called ‘Still Lifes’. This year she was back with a follow-up exhibition ‘Beyond Reality’.

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It is new photo work, made in 2022 and 2023, in her well-known style: still lifes with elements from her environment.

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What characterizes this exhibition? is there any progress in her work? We asked the maker.

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Rieja van Aart: “You could say that I use fewer recognizable elements and more paper, fabric, paint and ink. The result is that the images become more abstract.” But she doesn’t go so far as to enter the world of surrealism, she adds. “The reality that I photograph are elements from my environment. A piece of cloth or paper, a branch or feather…. Together they ignore their own reality, they express thoughts and feelings that they did not originally have, which ignore their reality.”

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Rieja continuously looks at her surroundings for details and objects that appeal to her. She makes compositions from these things in her studio in the French countryside. “I can work there in peace. I photograph my still lifes in natural light, always in the same place. I can’t work anywhere else, I can’t concentrate. I work on feeling, without preconceived ideas. I make about 40 images a day. Usually only a single photo remains. I will let it rest for a while, after which I will decide whether it can be included in the collection.”

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What is the role of nature in her life and in her work?
“In the Netherlands I lived and worked in the city. Of course I sometimes took a walk in sparse nature, but I usually did not experience it intensely. Here in France I have a lot of space around me, I can breathe better, I have more eye for the natural details that surround me. I can be moved by very simple things. Things that I give a different reality in my photography.”

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Three works
We zoom in on three of her works. In the first, a corn cob is central, in the second a blowing transparent piece of fabric and in the third we see intense turbulence upwards, it looks like a cyclone that takes earth and everything loose into the air.

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Rieja: “A young corn cob is the starting point for the photo of the first work. I like the shape, the fine hair that I partly draped on the right. The green thin leaf and the paint touches complete the image for me. Lines, letters and chalk form the basis of the second work. They play a game with a swirling substance. Together they form my handwriting. The third work is made of paper, corn cob hair, straw and paint. Together they portray human emotion for me.”

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Her work is shown at around five exhibitions every year in France, the Netherlands and Germany. “It is shown in galleries and at salons, where many people come. They say that I have my own, recognizable style that appeals to them. They often talk about the emotions my photos evoke in them.”
She finds it very special that her photography is already hanging in dozens of homes, she says finally.

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