Olivier Van Zeveren first loved moving images. As a child in Gent, Belgium and later as a teen in Paris, he spent countless hours watching movies; drinking in the images, the ambiance, the manipulation of light. With his gift for drawing, Van Zeveren hoped that maybe-just maybe-he could illustrate movie posters and in some small way become part of the magic.
At 15, he was accepted at Institut Saint Luc in Tournai, Belgium where refined his instinctive painting style and began formal studies in photography. He received with Honors a Certificat de Qualification, along with counsel to master the "New Art" production technologies. Van Zeveren continued his studies with an advanced program for computer-based art production at Sup.Info.Com. in Valenciennes, France. Ironically, during this period, Van Zeveren prolifically produced "old-fashioned" art. Rebelling against technology, he created numerous works across mediums, including acrylic, water colors and many mixed-media pieces. It was also then that Van Zeveren discovered that by amplifying light he could take the prosaic from ordinary to extraordinary.
Van Zeveren went on to earn of one of four slots in a program for fine artists at Centre National de la Bande Dessinee et de l'Image (C.N.B.D.I) in Angouleme, France. His artistic and technical prowess fused impressively in his thesis film, The David Hale Story, which received a nomination for Outstanding Animated Short Film at Imagina 1994.
After graduation, Van Zeveren's work for top computer companies in Europe led him to travel extensively, including stints in Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Capetown, Johannesburg, Beirut, Moscow, Cairo, Dubai, Istanbul, Bucharest, Riga, Lisbon and Tel-Aviv. During his travels, he produced a body of photographic work that later became the basis for Contraste, a series of oils on canvas. This series unearthed what would ultimately become Van Zeveren's process: capturing light-driven images on film which he then reinterprets on canvas.
Van Zeveren continues to produce a steady stream of work for private collectors and international exhibition. His recent commissions include work for Oscar nominee Angela Bassett. Van Zeveren's pieces are also in the private collections of Emmy nominee Keith Hamilton Cobb and Virginie Michel D'Annoville.
I love Light. The way it illuminates. The shadows it sculpts.
I love color. Intense. Undiluted.
I love images. On canvas. On film. On screen.
I find myself attracted more to the dynamic play of light and dark in a moment rather than individual components. The people, buildings and objects that appear in these urban landscapes, do not engage me as does the mood; the impression. These elements are not subjects so much as they are relief from the play of light in and on the environment.
When working across mediums as I do, a decision must be made: where inspiration will land? These images demanded canvas. They are born of an aggressive palette knife working of the mass and heft of the paint.
In my mind, it is fitting that these pieces began as photographs. They are are, after all, snapshots - static meditations on moments cleaved and captured from the never-ending progression of Light.