Tjalf Sparnaay

Since 1987, he has been working on his imposing oeuvre, constantly seeking new images that have never been painted before. What he calls Megarealism is part of the contemporary global art movement of Hyperrealism, and Sparnaay is now considered one of the most important painters working in that style.

Fried eggs, French fries, sandwiches and ketchup bottles, Barbie dolls, marbles and autumn leaves. Artist Tjalf Sparnaay visualizes these trivial subjects and inflates them to enormous formats, an assault on the senses. His paintings hit the retina like bolts of lightning in a clear blue sky. No other painter confronts us quite so clearly with ordinary objects that we hold dear.

Sparnaay not only documents reality but also intensifies this by blowing up everyday objects to mega-proportions. This gives him the opportunity to explore every detail very closely and to dissect it layer by layer in order to arrive at the core of the theme. ‘My paintings,’ remarks Sparnaay, ‘are intended to enable the viewer to experience reality once again, to rediscover the essence of the object that has become so common. I wish to reduce it to the DNA of the universal structure in all its beauty. I call it ‘the beauty of the everyday’. The way in which Sparnaay approaches his work refers directly to the 17th century. He resembles Vermeer in his lucid use of colour and eye for detail and refinement, while the lighting in his paintings recalls the play of light and shadow in the work of Rembrandt. Sparnaay elaborates on the rich 17th-century Dutch tradition of the still life, but does so on an individual and modern manner. He is constantly seeking new images that have never been painted. And he finds them in his own environment: ‘By using trivial and everyday objects, I enable reality to flow from my brush once more. My intention is to give these objects a soul and a renewed presence.’

Sparnaay’s work is in collections worldwide and is regularly exhibited.
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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