It’s a journey through Jim’s soul

26 April 2016 2:44 PM .

Subject Gabriela Ruiz stands next to her portrait by Van Geet. 153395_01 Pictures: MONIQUE KUZEFF
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RENOWNED for his portrait, figurative, masquerade and nude artwork, Myrtleford artist Jim Van Geet opened his exhibition, Soul Journey, at MAMA last Thursday, alongside two of his muses – the well-known and charismatic barrister Charles Waterstreet and the beautiful Argentinian, Gabriela Ruiz.
The exhibition, which encompasses 15 paintings, delves into the personalities of his muses, extracting the essence of each individual to put down on canvas.
Having accomplished hundreds of paintings, Mr Van Geet has won numerous awards and is recurrently sought after for commissions.
“People fascinate me and it’s my interaction, feeling, response and perception of them that is important to me and is conveyed through the paintings,” Mr Van Geet said.
“They’re all so unique and have different stories so when I get glimpses of who they are they’re the parts I put down on canvas.”
Mr Van Geet said he enjoyed working with Mr Waterstreet, who he has previously painted in ‘The Jury Whisperer’, spending numerous hours in his chambers observing his interaction.
“He (Waterstreet) is a very complex person and somewhat a flawed character you might say,” he said.
“There are so many sides to his personality that it was very difficult to pick out one.”
Mr Waterstreet can be observed in the portrait ‘Charles Billich in his World, 2012’ where he is portrayed in the Library of his Chambers being doted over by two nude women.
With humour, Mr Waterstreet said Mr Van Geet’s portrait of him is a “lyrical piece of great talent” that shows the “sheer heart Jim puts into his art”.
“I’m not just saying that because he painted me, but the way he goes about his painting and his talent and expertise is evident,” Mr Waterstreet said.
“I chose to pose with these two beautiful women because they were set against each other with the red hair and the blonde hair.
“I like a bit of yin and yang,” he joked.
Mr Van Geet said he wanted viewers to deeply consider the stories when they look at the portraits and to question why they are being portrayed in those ways.
“The outcomes of my paintings portray how I perceive the individuals and my own interaction with them.
“I want the viewer to finish the picture for themselves and to ask questions about the figures in the portrait.
Soul Journey will be showcased at MAMA until 8 May with free entry. All portraits are available for purchase.

~ by Jim on May 6, 2016.