At the age of 13 Lieve Dejonghe entered the art school in Bruges. It couldn’t be otherwise, as she was possessed by drawing and painting since early childhood. At the art school she discovered different art disciplines, only to find out very soon that painting was her world!
She was part of an epoch: in Belgium in the seventies and eighties only abstract art was considered real art. But Lieve turned around completely at age 33. She got fascinated by the great works of the old Flemish masters. She decided to create a new realism without old fashionned image. It would be realism tailored to the needs of contemporary people, it would be a proper Lieve Dejonghe style. That happened 22 years ago and she succeeded in it! Through her paintings she expresses emotions, commenting the raw news of the outside world daily penetrating her cozy studio cocoon. Her paintings provide comfort, confidence and the warm feeling that in your hart beauty shall and will prevail.
Always surprising, her work cannot be locked in a single category. Art critics have tried to put a label on it. Perhaps the most suitable is ‘conceptual realism’? Or should we rather say ‘unrealistic realism’? Lieve just goes her own typical way, resisting any classification.
Thanks to her proper style, the exceptional quality of her works and her consistent career path she made it all the way to the Belgian pavilion at the Shanghai 2010 World Exhibition. There she was the only Belgian painter allowed to exhibit works!
When the Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Bruges in 2014, the municipal government gave him a painting by Lieve as a souvenir of the city.
In 2015 she received the award of the international creative contest China Unlimited, organised by the Chinese mission at the EU. The award was remitted by the vice-premiers of China and Belgium, Liu Yandong and Didier Reynders.
Utmost important for her is the pleasure of the painting act itself. It becomes palpable in her use of the colour red. Red is the colour of love, of passion, but allso of struggle… she paints a kind of red that never turns into pink, that never looses its purity. She is a master of the colour red, in the same way as her illustrious city fellow, the Flemish primitive Jan van Eyck.
Her works are allways layered, still they truely provide shelter...
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