The purpose of a painting is not only to beautify a wall, it can also be a questioning.
––Hugo Pondz, Painter
Belgium based artist, Hugo Pondz, paints minimalist scenes that sit on the crest of the surreal. His characters seem stuck in time, or floating above it, waiting on or dreaming of the unknown. Through tight brush strokes and careful color composition of his signature blue tones, Pondz captures a moment of hallucinatory clarity.
Pondz’s mother used to paint country landscapes for pleasure. When he was sixteen, he secretly took her box of paints and tried to do the same. Of course, with no experience, the result was catastrophic––but he felt intensely drawn to the medium, intrigued by it. Twelve years later, he met Jean-Pierre Hubert who introduced him to painting technique and the surrealist universe. Pondz began noticing the importance of color chemistry, an aspect of painting too many artists overlook. His greatest discovery was Giorgio de Chirico, whose melancholic, minimalist scenes shaped the way he would come to perceive the world and the canvas. Pondz focuses on large, empty spaces with minimal human presence. However, he begins with the character in a precise drawing, and builds the painting up in 4-7 thin layers. Pondz’s process is methodical and scientific. He pulverizes color with a stone grinder so as not to heat the pigments, and then dilutes them in eyeball oil, which prevents yellowing. He believes art is more than an aesthetic object; it should expose, interrogate, and push, as illustrated by a series dedicated to investigating the truth of the World Trade Center events.
Pondz’s masterful works have been featured in group and solo exhibitions all over Europe and the US, and can be found in private and public collections internationally.