Philippe De Kraan
A QUEST FOR PASSION, TO MASTER THE MEANING OF EXPRESSION
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 thoughtout 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, in particular, 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 a number of private collections throughout the world. One such example was an ambassador, transferring from Brussels to a new posting in New York City.
Today de Kraan is busy delivering a broader message mainly through this website, slowly releasing personally signed, dated and numbered LIMITED EDITION prints from his collection. These reproductions are typical of his endeavors to express his innate character-awareness of the subject he seeks to depict.
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 colors in an array of stimulating shapes and styles, always involving the human form.
This new venture in reproducing his own art works has become the main endeavor through is self-named Publishing Company, as well as a managed Website, displaying the artist’s every major art work including some commentary about art in Australia and it’s culture, with the opinions that could surprise and even shock many.
de Kraan has always believed in his own path and destiny without external influence or support. In the art scene it is often the case that many artists, who feel the need to express and show their talent, expose themselves to frustration from their reliance on critics and galleries, who could place them in the public eye.
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 endeavor, 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 expresses awareness of his subconscious, extending it into his character studies, through his new and unique form of expressionism today.