Roos van der Vliet (b. 1985) is a Dutch artist, based in Arnhem, the Netherlands. She got her BFA in 2009, and has been painting ever since. Her work has been exhibited throughout Europe, the USA and Australia. Although she doesn’t consider herself a hyperrealist, she does get lost in the details every time she paints. She wants to get so close to the reality she’s presenting, that it almost feels real. The eyes must look back, hair must look like it’s touchable. It has something to do with the feeling of alienation she gets when looking at the world around her. Life is so enigmatic, and by watching it from close up, reproducing that reality, it seems to give her more control over it. Like when she’s creating something real, it makes her more real.
About 'Allegory of the moon' “For my new soloshow ‘Allegory of the moon’ at BeinArt gallery, I let myself be influenced by The romantic movement from the 19th century in general and a by a poem by Sylvia Plath - the moon and the yew tree (1961) – in particular. The romantic era, an era of literature, music and especially art always spoke to me. The overwhelming power of nature over men is so important to comprehend even now, decades later. In the light of climate change and carbon footprints too large for our own good we cannot afford to see industrialization and domestication as progress instead of the disruptive power it really is. We must look within to find the right path.
After reading The moon and the yew tree by the poet Sylvia Plath last year, something happened to me that’s hard to put in words. I recognized something in myself that I didn’t know was there, and I couldn’t let it go afterwards. I felt the urge to dive deep into the poetic, romantic, timeless part of myself that’s unaware of the current time and space, unaware of the art world, society, the superficiality of social media, followers and trends.
The overwhelming world around me and the need to draw back from it has always been a motive to create art, but at the same time it felt like I was too rooted in that superficial world, and for several reasons, I needed to step out of it for a while. I worked for months in my studio, and no one was allowed to enter. Not even my partner or my friends have seen this series until it was finished.
The paintings in my series ‘Allegory of the moon’ show a young woman in a vast postapocalyptic landscape. She seeks refuge in herself but not because she is a fragile victim to her surroundings. She symbolizes the moon and, same as the moon she is unfazed by our imposed symbolism. The shelter she seeks is within herself, an elusive and feminine power.”
About 'Mirrors of your soul'
"The body of work I’ve been painting on for my solo show ‘Mirrors of your soul’ was all created during the pandemic. Being in isolation most of the time, returning to what I once started my career with, portraits, felt natural. Not being able to meet strangers, hugging my friends, having brief moments of contact on the street, an accidental touch from the cashier in the supermarket or sharing a smile with the bus driver felt so unnatural, and although I never considered myself to be a very outgoing person, after a few months of exploring all the layers of loneliness, I came to the conclusion that this was way too much for me, and that the interrelatedness between people is the thread that holds our very existence together. While painting, the first thing I do is paint the eyes up to the point that they’re looking back at me. From that moment the work is alive, I begin communicating with it while working on finishing the rest of the work. Painting portraits really helped me to get through this strange period in time.
The concept of my solo ‘Mirrors of your soul’ at Thinkspace this September (2021) might feel familiar. Hair, piercing eyes, golden hour light, it’s all been part of my work ever since the beginning of my career. But, while I keep being fascinated by the same themes, the story behind it changes, because I change as an artist but also as a human being, although I wonder if there really is a difference between the two. Where I once had so much to tell, so much to get off my chest, there’s less and less I have to say. I don’t feel as if I’m that special. The covid pandemic made that even more clear. We are all dealing with the same stuff around the world, although all stories are unique, all countries are different and the amount of suffering clearly differs from person to person, it’s all stories in space and time. In our very essence we are all the same. That what binds us are not our differences, our personal stories, our childhood trauma’s, our successes in life, it’s the fact that we’re all here at the same time as one species, the human race.
In this series it’s not about what I have to tell you, it’s about what you feel or think when you see my work. When a painting stares directly at you when you’re standing before it, and these eyes, they just look at you, mirroring you, giving you all the space and time you need… what do you feel or think?
I want to see you, and I’m using my paintings as a gateway to that connection we share."