A.I.C.A. HUGO BRUTIN
There is clearly no doubt about her profession. Let this be a first not unimportant finding.
Every object, if i may formulate it so disrespectfully, is a world in itself, a playful, exuberant and lyrical ensemble of motifs, allusions and color shades, which show a surprising mastery of form, line and volume.
Her work shows a baroque figuration and a playful handling of motifs, signs and stylization that topple over one another. This is very clear to her so that fantasy and technical mastery meet each other lyrically, complement each other and form a fascinating unity.
Benedicte Vandewattyne has a solid education. She initially studied for a year at the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Tournai and then graduated at the Saint-Luc Institute of Ramegnies-Chin in Tournai, department Art Déco-Publicité. At that time, the Saint-Lucas colleges and certainly those in Ghent were faced with the often-extensive styling of figurative data. That also seems to have been somewhat more recent in Ramegnies-Chin at the end of the 1980s, early 1990s when Benedicte studied there, because her entire painterly oeuvres, both the past and present, stand out through deliberate and meticulous styling of beings and objects that populate her canvases.
Even though between her earlier work and that of recent years, that we get to see here, a clear and fascinating evolution has taken place. Where her characters used to appear as elongated strings, her current canvases are characterized by a more pronounced geometric approach, and the inspired and attractive development of a harmonic composition.
This is partly due to the fact that what she now portrays refers more to reality than to the rather dreamy and symbolic statement that dominated her earlier work.
We have said before that her canvases from the last years with which she wants to conquer the world can be divided into three themes or sources of inspiration: the films of Stanley Kubrick and his Clockwork Orange, references to Africa in the broader sense of the word and finally current affairs here and in the United States.
It is obvious that the themes do not always differ clearly from each other and can, for example, include as much current events as the African or African-American tinted display. The reality that she paints or often paints after a picture is not slavishly represented. That is immediately clear. In fact, one could argue that this inspiring reality is a pure pretext for shaping her own visual vision. This is done in various ways, in a harmonious combination of supply and processing, between basic data and her own plastic interpretation.
Her individuality slips into the initial image and transforms it, through depth, by supplementing with geometric structures, by adding colorful motifs, by playfully introducing what can be seen as a form of putting the basic idea into perspective, through signs and meanings which allows her to appropriate the original image.
This is immediately apparent in the painting that refers to a boxing match by Mohammed Ali from a bird perspective that is not so easy to paint. As you can see, it is the work that is depicted on the poster and the invitations. It is composed of dozens, hundreds of dots depicting spectators, who are apparently spontaneously and playfully supplemented with whimsical and colorful geometric motifs and elements, which is in numerous ways a form of re-appropriation of contemporary visual language both spatially and two-dimensionally.
This is proof that Benedicte takes her place in the artistic world of today.
Remarkable is the deliberate and thorough personal contribution to a story that is plucked from an existing iconography or current affairs.
Those who do not master their trade will not get far.
The combination of the two, namely a contemporary view of things and having the associated resources, is a necessary requirement and a guarantee for achieving a high level in today's visual world. Benedicte Vandewattyne possesses, in our opinion, those two fundamental requirements.
It is good that people look at her work from that point of view:
Her African-American tinted scenes, her interpretation of our familiar stills, the beautiful plant world of her imagination, the graceful rhythm of angular motifs, the ever-present colorful triangle on which the entire canvas is hung, her lyrical yet controlled use of color, judicious transparency of her color, the numerous allusions of social criticism in a rather unusual design that intrigue and create a strange atmosphere, the quirky contemporary of her style and her theme, the self-assured arrangement of countless signs, shapes and colorful smiles. These are all elements that enable the artist to reach higher regions.