Christian Develter art show in Andara Resort (Interview)

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Elizabeth Adler

Christian Develter was born in 1968 in Blankenberge,
 Belgium , resides and works in Asia since the nineties.

“Develter’s sense of the beautiful and the individual strength and spirit of his protagonists with his close-up narrative is developed through careful consideration of line, lighting and geometry as well as his perspicacious awareness of the power of color to reveal that which is behind the surface of each character. At the heart of these works is a search not just for physical beauty but also for something of the spirit that embraces and motivates each one in our era of hyper celebrity.”

RL: What inspired you to create these works for this show?

Apart from the large oil painting, these works form part of my “ Chin, Urban and Tribal ” series. The inspiration for this latest series comes from the intricately tattooed faces of the Chin women, an indigenous tribe of the northwestern area of Myanmar.

The Chin tribe and their tattoos are relatively unknown to the outside world. Located in northwestern Myanmar (Chin and Rakhine States), the different tribes use tattoo marks in a centuries’ old tradition to distinguish one hill tribe from another, or to indicate marital status and social rank. The paintings of this series aim to be an amalgamation between the modern and the past - displaying the perfectly symmetrical urban faces of Asian women painted with the painstakingly intricate Chin tribal tattoo designs of Myanmar.

RL: What are some themes that interest you in your work?

I’ve always felt drawn towards oriental themes, in particular faces and portraits. My travels drive me, and the intensity of color in the orient inspires me. Having grown up in the West, I feel drawn to the East, but I cannot and don’t want to shed my past. Instead, one side marries the other. East meets West, so to say.

RL: What drew you to painting as a medium?

I’m intrigued by the interaction between dimensions and senses, and how well the media of painting and drawing can capture our three-dimensional world in two dimensions while leaving space to our senses and imagination to fill in the gaps.

RL: Do you find that your art takes on a life of its own as you are creating it or do you always stick to a plan?

I usually have a clear vision of how a new work will develop but I not always stick to it rigidly. They are always stepping stones to something new. In the creative process I find it important to allow myself to let ideas flow. But not at the cost of my overall vision! I know which sea I want to cross, but not necessarily which route to sail or in which harbor to moor.

RL: Would you say that Art is a compulsion for you? Could you imagine yourself doing anything else in life and if so, what would it be?

In a way, yes, it’s a compulsion in the sense that I start to feel uncomfortable when there’s a prolonged period during which I cannot paint because of other obligations. Yet, I’m pretty sure there may be other things in life I’d like to explore, but I haven’t felt the need yet to try and find out what they may be.