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Emo Icons: Dot technique’ is new world of Belgium-based artist Alphonse D'HEYE
Alphonse D’HEYE at work.

By: A. Haelemeersch

KNOKKE.- After 25 years, the painter Alphonse D’HEYE is changing tack and leaving neo-impressionism to follow a new course in his art. He himself gives this about-turn an almost all-revealing name: “EMO-ICONS”.

A ‘dot technique’ in which emotions and icons undergo an artistic symbiosis and merge into portraits that refer to pointillism, pop art and hyperrealism.

You really can and may not call it ‘pixel art’. In contrast to that form of digital art, D’HEYE’s body of work develops from human impulses and he tries to pick up the train of thought and emotional intelligence of the subjects of the portraits. He tries to form a picture of the duality of his figures. In contrast to pixel art, neither software nor projection is involved. The initial sketch is, just as with the pointillists in the first decades of the previous century neatly converted with specific touches of the brush in a steady hand. Computer control, use of matrix software with which photographs are edited on the basis of individual pixels are completely out of the question. Alphonse D’HEYE remains loyal to his skills from impressionism and pointillism. He makes generous use of his skill, talent and his maturity in painting techniques that have been his passion since he was young. With that pointillist touch he remains loyal to the time-honoured devices of the illuminists and impressionists whereby small dots of oil paint are applied close to each other without mixing the colours. The use of a limited colour palette creates the need to add ‘noise’ so that the various hues and tones become visible. This leads to subtle portraits in which ‘his heroes’ observe the world through the eyes of a friend or opponents with a look that refer to hyperrealism and photographic realism.

With his ‘emo-icons’ Alphonse D’HEYE roots about in the spirit of figures that either dominated the world or played an important role in politics, sports or culture or a personal confrontation.

He constantly asks himself how that particular moment in the world’s history would be registered and analysed through the eyes of an opponent and/or victim. It remains a rhetorical question. The essence of the thought will never be determined or made public, nor can it be. It is unique to the assertiveness of the ‘leading figures’. But one thing is certain. As a result of these portraits the art lover is very closely involved in the facts. Consciously or not, the visitor empathises with the ‘deeper I’ of the leading figures. Observing closely he will absorb the work. Although it also conjecture for the visitor, a connection is irrefutably created between him and the underlying thought that the painter gives his body of work. Remarkable, but by no means astonishing, is that each individual will claim a different interpretation. An assessment that, apart from those of the figures portrayed, will differ completely from the perception depicted by the artist. And precisely that is the height of experiencing art. You are not led by what you see but you think and you give the work of art its own place, a personalised meaning in your own world. It is precisely that step that the artist, Alphonse D’HEYE, has in mind. Once the visitor nestles in that philosophy and in his mind enters into a dialogue with the work of art and/or the artist, the work is finished. Only then does the bond between art and visitor become stronger and closer. Art is learning to look, understand and interpret. Showing emotion and processing it by looking at a canvas or sculpture... Looking at art should not be passive. Actively experiencing art makes you feel good and it is precisely that step that is a subtle enrichment of the mind and of a better understanding of art...

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