Bas Meeuws is a Dutch artist who uses photography as a basis to breathe new life into the 17th century Dutch and Flemish still-life genre. Self-taught, he draws on his catalog of over 13,000 species to create artworks in the line of Ambrosius Bosschaert or Jan Davidsz de Heem. Demonstrating the same descriptive precision, he orchestrates an extraordinary diversity of flowers, enriching the works further with insects or gastropods. The neutral background fixates the focus on the foreground, where movement seems to be gushing all around. Meeuws’ works require a certain amount of time to be observed properly. If the viewer is too hasty, he will see just the vase with flowers in it. However, upon closer inspection, there is beauty in each flower, but also the reflection of the light from a leaf, the elegant arch of a stem. The artist depicts flowers with different blooming times, and the proportions between them are strange. Additionally, Bas Meeuws differentiates himself from his predecessors by adding what we consider today as bad seeds or ordinary grass. His goal is not just pure visual pleasure – the works are intended to awaken a broader sense of respect towards everything nature has to offer and remind us of the transience and frailty of life.
Featured image: Bas Meeuws - Untitled (#133),
2016 (detail). C-Print. 47 1/5 × 66 9/10 in. 120 × 170 cm. Edition of 4. This
is part of a limited edition set. Photo courtesy Echo Fine Arts