Bernard Kruseman Aretz


April 18 - May 4, 2013 

Opening Reception April 18, 5 - 8pm

Bernard Kruseman Aretz is a thirty five year old visual artist whose interests lie in painting imagery that confronts the viewer with reality. He is currently a Master of Fine Arts student at the University of South Carolina and received his Bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Originally born in the Netherlands and currently resides with his family in Charleston, South Carolina. While in the Netherlands, the artist pursued a ten-year career in professional sailing. These experiences contribute to a multi-cultural and diversity of influences on him. His work itself, with the current state of humanity, reflects a strong metaphor for contemporary life.

The paintings are very large in scale as well as message for the viewer. The artist is concerned with the many layers of paint that contribute to the magnificent surface quality of the work which sometimes may over shadow the figurative realities within the subject matter, The process of understanding his work can be as easy as merely seeing the colors or more in depth by seeing through the layers. City Art Gallery is proud to be able to show a body of work with this significance for the artist himself and the USC, MFA Program. Bernard says of his own work: My work is composed of large-scale paintings and is derived through applying oil on canvas in a realistic but expressive manner. The paintings are large in scale and the figures are mostly life-like and larger. The surroundings are dark and often obscure which keeps the focus on the subject matter. Multiple realities are forced to coexist in the same space. Human suffering is the main subject and visual experience in my work. Beauty is experienced through the rich surface and strategic composition. I appropriate real imagery and contemporary events, not to disillusion the viewer with illusionism, but overwhelm them with reality. My work evokes the idea that beauty is derived through compassion where human suffering is the foundation. Through my artwork I scrape up the remnants of human behavior and dispose of them on the canvas.