The unique visual universe of Esther Barend

The impressive output of Esther Barend (over 500 acrylic paintings), consists in a fascinating arrangement of colors, textures and motion. This colorful and positive universe is livened up by a great dynamism. It’s composed of abstract or semi-figurative paintings that represent unique faces that bring comic books to mind.

Esther was born in Eindhoven (Netherlands) in 1964, in a family of artists. After finishing her studies, she first moved to Paris and then Eindhoven for a while where she worked as a designer in a jewelry store. After that, she undertook a 3 years curriculum at Arendonk Fine Arts Academy (Belgium). This experience enabled her to acquire her own style years after years. Her paintings come from a very personal world, inspired by the passing of time, current events and nature’s colors.

« Day Dreamer », 90x110x4 cm, acrylique sur toile, exposée à la galerie Van Bellen Art
Willemstad, Pays-Bas

Her paintings could be compared to street art or even 60’s–70’s psychedelic art. However the artist doesn’t necessarily relate to those styles and never claimed to be inspired by them. By the way, Esther stated that the artists she admires, like Willem de Kooning, are in no way comparable to her work and that they are merely a spiritual inspiration, rather than a stylistic or technical one.

Barend’s work is an alternation of thick and thin layers of acrylic paint. One must really cast their eye in this texture to truly appreciate its mesmerizing depth that lets the spectator’s imagination rule their sight, through their own volume experience.

This visual realm draws the spectator in an imaginary world, marked by the use of intense and contrasting colors as well as the power of movement. There is no fixed standard that allows to categorize her work, but only a great freedom of interpretation, for the artist and the spectator as well, who remains free to use their own imagination to see what they want to see.

‘Windows of the Soul’, 60x60x4 cm, acrylique sur toile

The artist’s purpose is to exteriorize what happens in the “inner world”; her own as well as the spectator’s one. She believes that the look we take at the exterior can be strengthened, weakened, completed or corrected by the sensations and thoughts that are sometimes hidden. She also invites the spectator to let their mind drift away and think about what this visual world evokes.

“Erubescent Love Sonnet”, 80x140x6 cm, acrylic on canvas

To this individual universe that anyone can relate to, are added remarkable esthetic researches and technical tasks. Esther Barend’s work deserves a particular attention and I invite you to visit her website: http://www.estherbarend.eu as well as her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/EstherBarendArtist

(translated by Noé Jacomet)

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