THE PESSIMIST

doemdenker
DE DOEMDENKER

drypoint and plate etching on zinc
1981 - 128 x 167 mm

At that time, I was still convinced I was the last of the "fantastic" artists in Flanders. Of the rest of the world I knew as good as nothing. I lived a very secluded life and when I went to town or visited another city, all I saw was paintings for tourists or mentally very noisy contemporary art. My world was on the outside very small. There was no internet, no interesting magazines and I was completely isolated from the big streams of art. All I liked were works I found in the few books that at the time had been published on Surrealism, Pre-Raphaelites, Symbolists and the occasional old master, like Bosch.
When I visited an exhibition by the laureats of graphics department (which means etchings, engravings, lithography and woodcut) I saw there was still a current of imagination going on. So I decided to enter the graphics department at the Academy in Antwerp, wanting to learn how to make etchings and engravings. I remember that at the beginning the teacher was a bit reluctant to accept me because I had acquired the reputation of being rather difficult to handle. This is my first work. No copper, but zinc. After a short initial explanation of the technical possibilities, the teacher spoke of soft-ground etching as a good technique to start with, so I started with a drypoint.