Stefaanis born in Niel, a former village of brickyards in the shadow of Antwerp.
As a son of the painter and commercial artist Louis Eyckmans, he comes in touch with the tools of painting and drawing from an early age on. His father will remain his great teacher and mentor throughout his life.
During his student days Stefaan is strongly influenced by the Flemish Primitives, the 17th century still life painters and the Antwerp hyperrealist movement led by Willem Dolphyn. Still later, the more impasto technique of the Frisian Henk Helmantel and the austere compositions of the Italian Giorgio Morandi leave their traces in his work.
After an education as a character designer and illustrator Stefaan will work in advertising for a while. But more and more he concentrates on his painting.
The world of fast advertising messages and deadlines clears space for the silent world of the studio, patient observation and slow build up of timeless compositions.
In our postmodern age where official academia reject beauty as corny and museums of ‘fine’ (beaux) arts get amputated to museums of ‘contemporary’ art, Stefaan resolutely opts for beauty as an objective yardstick.
By examining the form, the continuous search for the essence and the best composition, Stefaan tries to create another pristine reality. The paintings radiate tranquillity and balance. They are in the artist’s own words, ‘emergency exits from our stressed consumer society’.
The tonal technique of the old masters in combination with modern materials, colours and objects, results in a contemporary realism with roots in a centuries-old tradition of painting.
How realistic and detailed they are, the still-life paintings of Stefaan arise from a tightly composed abstraction. Already from a distance the colours, shapes and subtle lighting should seduce the viewer. But only on approach the paintings will reveal their surprising details.
Rhythm in art is possibly one of the most difficult and most important ingredient required for building an interesting composition that would first of all catch the viewers’ eye and continues to move the eye in and around all the parts of the artwork. It is very demanding to explain how one builds a rhythm within the visual art field, it is much easier to understand it if we were to speak about music. The music we hear and the different beats produce a physical reaction from us, making us move our bodies to the rhythm, allowing us to express the inner sensations sound produced. In visual art, in most cases, the work is static. It is with the help of lines, shapes, color, brushstrokes, light, and space, that the artist is able to produce the rhythm, important for the creation of the movement, for the creation of life within a flat surface. It is the comprehension of the abstract that art principles, in the end, allow us to do, and rhythm is just one of the fundementals that first of…