1972 - 1982
First exhibitions, Belgium
At the age of 14, Piet Van started studying at the art academy. The art movement of Hyperrealism made a big impression on him: he also wanted to make immensely realistic paintings. Nevertheless, when he saw an exhibition including top hyperrealists, Piet was so disillusioned about their works. The paintings were less beautiful in reality than the pictures in his art books wanted to make him believe.
He felt betrayed because these painters often used tricks such as projection to outline and color surfaces. For him, their works were not vibrant enough. He wanted to draw without tricks or tools, and trained his photographic memory to draw without an example. He could project and copy his fantasies directly from his thoughts onto his sheet.
He only focused on pencil drawings at this young age because he wanted to master the technique like a real professional. He drew an average of 12 hours a day like a madman, usually at night and alone. He put his mind on autopilot while listening to music and at the same time, he questioned his thoughts. This way of working gave him plenty of time to question his environment, and he automatically ended up in a conceptual world. His thoughts had become much more important than what he was drawing.
The pencil drawings he made in this period are difficult to find. His first exhibitions were completely sold out and he did not take pictures of his works. The most important works are those from the moment they became conceptual.