My work involved studying and researching choices, drawing inspiration from the techniques and special qualities of different painters. I combined this with my personal vision and with subjective creativity to reinterpret images and concepts.
Vermeer used blurring and pointillism. The purpose was to give the incandescent impression of that exact moment, where the contours were less important than the light itself. He created little dots that seemed insignificant in their singularity, but very important as a whole, as they gave life and consistency to the material of things. Moving away from the subject, these dots gradually created the pattern, giving the composition more depth and formality.
In some photos, I intentionally did not use a flash, even if the light required it, in order to simulate, with the grain, the feeling of having points that gradually disappeared when the spectator moved away, making the image more homogeneous.
With some subjects, I worked on the colour to almost make it the subject. From that era, I absolutely love the colours of blue obtained from lapis lazuli, green from malachite, yellow from orpiment and red from cinnabar.
The fine, clear and smooth painting (fijnschilders) was contrasted by rough, coarse painting, given by strong brush strokes and lumpy touches of raw colour, favoured by Rembrandt.
With reference to this and based on the subject, I made some scenes appear to be more material-like, while others are velvetier.
I used excesses of light or shadow to let the luminosity of that exact moment create certain reflexes and colours, without correcting them. This reproduced details that seemed to have been put there accidentally, the naturalness of the most common gestures, also given by things that were of no use or were inconsistent with the composition. Reality is not always similar to beauty, but the poetry of everyday life remains.
Symbolism is everywhere; there is no rule saying that each object has to necessarily have an ulterior meaning, but they can often be read in an allegorical, metaphorical and figurative sense as a sign of something that goes beyond the appearance and becomes a symbol.
When choosing the objects, I want to see myself in my photos, to express my soul. There are objects that actually date back to the 17th century that, however, I wanted to combine with things from everyday life belonging to me or my family. I wanted to create a link between my present and that of people dear to me or strangers. My interpretation was subjective; my aim was not merely to reconstruct the history of objects, but to give importance to their meaning and to what they represent, evident and continuous over time. The message did not change, it was the same for the people who lived in the 17th century, for my ancestors and for myself. The interpretation of the Vanitas and of what they transmitted continues to be relevant. Even today, in a more modern sense, they provoke thought and reflection.
I did not use religious images; according to Calvinism, the arts must represent things that can be seen with the eyes, looking for and contemplating God in their works, sacred images are banned. In “Les voix du silence” André Malraux wrote: “The Netherlands did not invent the fact of putting a fish on a plate, but of no longer making it the food of the apostles.”