Tom van Eynde’s photographs rein-vision the portraits of Northern European, & Flemish art in particular of the 15th through 17th centuries. While completely modern in appearance these images draw you to that time when portraits were more than snapshots, when having a portrait made was considered a status symbol, not a lucky throw away moment, or screen capture on a cell phone. These images are large, purposeful images, usually printed 30” x 30” on 44” x 46” paper. The models are staring out at the viewer with the timelessness of their nobility. There is a sense of power, & sophistication. The use of a forgotten fashion devices, such as the Cavalier Collar & or Ruffs becomes the touchstone which blurs the reality between time & medium. While we would never wear these collars today, they seem strangely modern. They cause us to remember in our minds eye the paintings Jan van Eyck & Frans Hals, yet the sitters are completely modern in appearance. Unlike those paintings, these are not images that took weeks or months to paint, these images are recorded in an instant, the beauty of the photographic image, deceptively simple & elegant. They are about that magical moment between artist & model. The identity of the sitter is magnified against the isolation of the austere background. Their characteristics, humor, vanity, seriousness, & beauty, all are evident in the truth of the medium.
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