1972 - 1982
First exhibitions, Belgium
At the age of 14, Piet Van embarked on his artistic journey by enrolling at the art academy. It was during this time that he encountered the art movement of Hyperrealism, which left a profound impact on him, inspiring him to create immensely realistic paintings. However, his perception of Hyperrealism was shattered when he saw an exhibition featuring top hyperrealist artists. The actual paintings fell short of the captivating images he had seen in his art books, leaving him feeling disillusioned.
Feeling betrayed by the use of tricks and tools employed by these artists, such as projection to outline and color surfaces, Piet sought to create vibrant artworks without relying on such techniques. He trained his photographic memory, enabling him to draw directly from his thoughts without the need for reference. With a singular focus on pencil drawings, he dedicated himself to mastering the technique like a true professional. Drawing an average of 12 hours a day, often during solitary nights, Piet entered a meditative state, listening to music while his thoughts questioned the world around him. This unique working method allowed him to delve into a conceptual realm, where his thoughts became as significant as the drawings themselves.
During this early period, Piet's pencil drawings were rarely documented, as his first exhibitions resulted in complete sell-outs, leaving no record of his works. The most significant works emerged when his art became deeply conceptual, marking a pivotal turning point in his artistic journey.