Philippe de Kraan
Born in Amsterdam, Holland, Philippe de Kraan is controversial, yet intriguing, an enigma to many insisting his diverse art works speak a unique language of their own to anyone with insight to appreciate them on their own merit and individuality. His sought-after character studies in brush and ink have always been a conversation piece, simply because they are unique and the arduous journey to produce them is obvious to all.
From the 1970s to the late 1990s de Kraan has held 46 solo art exhibitions across Europe and in Australia, where he lives today. In Europe, de Kraan was young and determined, driven by his popularity with the press at every exhibition throughout Holland, especially Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In the South of Holland, he also managed two art galleries: one showing his own works exclusively, that being quite a novelty for an artist. Other countries such as Germany, Italy, Austria and France were more sparing of their praise than his homeland, although he did work on commissioned portraits around Europe.
The work de Kraan found most fulfilling were the studies he did of ordinary people in the street. He paid sitting fees to beggars, fishermen, children and the elderly, who proved to be exciting and positive models with life experience dramatically etched onto their faces. De Kraan used most of these character studies, mainly in brush and ink then, for his many solo exhibitions around Europe.
As many buyers were in transit from other countries, his art has such enhanced several private collections throughout the world. One such example was an ambassador, transferring from Brussels to a new posting in New York City.
Over the years, expressionism has taken precedence over his brush and ink art works, giving de Kraan NOW the freedom to explore a different dimension in art and to express a free will to exaggerate realism using oils or water colours in an array of stimulating shapes and styles, always involving the human form.
De Kraan’s involvement in his work is hard to explain, except that his emotions largely influence his art, to the extent that he tries to transfer his own subconscious into the character he portrays. With each endeavour, de Kraan seeks to capture the very essence of the subject in his own idiosyncratic manner, whether the subject is real or imaginary. In this, he acknowledges Rembrandt as a strong influence, also van Gough, both making this same trait fundamental to character studies, through each using their own individual technique.
De Kraan has to date some 48 solo exhibitions including important and prestigious galleries in New York, Melbourne Australia and his 47th show at The Convention centre in 2013 with over 100 paintings on display. His work has also been displayed at the New York Art Expo 2019 leading up to The Armory Art Exhibition in New York in 2021 which makes him one of the most important and sought after artists arising in our time.
Art critics have described his art as a type of blend of soft delicate colours, yet with the POINTILLISM, that recalls one of SEURAT'S works and other such impressionist.
Philippe de Kraan expresses awareness of his subconscious, extending it into his character studies, through his new and unique form of expressionism today.