Today we return to a project that's
been on the back burner for over a year. We want to share with you
information about artists whom we have "found" that you may or may not
have heard of -- our mission is, regardless of the artists "fame", to
present those that we feel you deserve to know about.
Today we take a look at Van Rainy Hecht-Nielsen...you may not know who his is, but you surely won't forget his name. We've always enjoyed the way Miles Mathis describes Van's name in his "Review of Van Nielsen:"
"I always get a mental image of an old
Volkswagen microbus, curtained and handpainted, filled with naked
Germans and Swedes growling things like “hecht” and “achtung”, all the
while the roof leaks with rain."
Seriously, Van's virtuosity should
impress even the casual collector . . . and simultaneously inspire and
depress the aspiring artist. Indeed Van's gift seems to be God-given.
As Miles puts it in his review, "One morning he was a beginner and the
same afternoon he was il primo uomo del mondo."
And as if being blessed with an artistic gift isn't enough, Van is equally talented in both painting and sculpture!
We, not being an artist, admittedly
have no right to "review" them. However, that has never stopped us
before, so we shall proceed anyway....but to allay your reservations
regarding our "armchair quarterback" qualifications, your editor
estimates that to date he has viewed well over 50,000 works of art, so
at least we DO have some mental basis of comparison from which to draw.
Recently we put forth a suggested "definition" of great art. Our definition included the following three points:
1. Covey one compelling idea
2. Depict the idea without any unnecessary elements
3. Be Authentic
(We assume competence in
technique...which in and of itself doesn't mean a piece is "great"...
but only gives an artist the "chops" to work with.)
Van excels at all three points.
The compelling idea is clearly the
struggle between Jacob and the Angel...and metaphorically our own
struggle with God. He has presented the idea without any extraneous
elements that would take away from the central theme. And as a devout
Catholic struggling with his own walk with God, he is staying true to
who he is and creating work inspired by his heart....not attempting to
second-guess what the marketplace "wants."
For those of you who prefer
paintings, take a look at "The Grand Inquisitor" (below) -- the
intensity and emotion of this piece is compelling. One look and you
get the idea....not a man you wish to cross.
The Grand Inquisitor:
We encourage you to visit Van's web
site and browse his paintings and sculpture. Sign up for his email
newsletter. Be sure that he is an artist whom you consider
collecting. We feel he is destined to be remembered.
We promise you, his work will enrich your life.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
PS: For a longer, in depth review of
Van's work by someone who IS qualified to review other artists works,
we encourage you to read Mile Mathis "A Review of Van Nielsen." Not
only is he a master artist, but has your editor beat in the writing
department too. Just be sure to set aside some time to read it, Miles
usually has quite a bit to say....
PPS: Lastly, be sure to visit Van's site and and sign up for his email list.