Thomas Van Gindertael
Van Gindertael's painting embody both the abstract and the figurative, with much of his work lying somewhere between the two. Although one may be tempted to compare his works with those of Dubuffet, or attempt a connection with the Abstract Expressionists of the 1940's and early 50's - among them Jackson Pollock and Paul Klee, to reduce Van Gindertael's art to the confines of this particular movement or that, is to do injustice to the richness, diverseness and originality of his oeuvre.
The principle technique that Van Gindertael employs has some affinities with the graffito work of Jean Dubuffet, whereby the artist etches through a top layer of paint to reveal the underlying colour beneath, thus bringing to life the canvas, through texture and form, light and shade. To really appreciate Van Gindertael's works one has to look into, not merely at, the paintings, but to look at it again and again. From what at first glance appears as a random assembly of etched lines and squiggles, one begins to discern figures on the beach, more often reclining, arms and legs in motion, birds, animals, and the one definitive form - the letters of Van Gindertael, in quartered syllables, which are always an integral part of the painting. Is what one sees really there or simply a product of one's own imagination?