‘At First Sight’


Can we reduce the work of an artist to what we see or what we experience: lesser it to something purely visual? Even if it requires a bit of your attention and your focus to understand it, the pictorial world that the artist Lisse Declercq created and is shaping over time is way more deep and personal. Today, it is, at the first sight, exactly what the audience tends to do. Fortunately, within the utterly growing scene of figurative painting, we do develop a more accurate vision and more steady approach of visual arts that allow us to tiptoeing on that thin borderline flirting with good and bad taste, badness and excellence.

You’ve to put yourself in the shoes of an artist who’s flying over her ‘millennial’ or ‘Y generation’ landscape and her personal background. Living and roaming with your elder twin sisters, hanging out with a small crew in a Goonies atmosphere and using your gang as your personal models as well as your elder sisters; who are considered as ‘so cool’ and so ‘grown- up’, as cosmetics guinea pigs.

Searching for a coherent language and boating on the post eighties, nineties and early twenties pond of references. Those are marked, amongst others, by American soaps, ongoing social mutations, growth and crash of famous board games brands of the late eighties and nineties and an environment balanced between the countryside and fast pace Music Television scrolling.

Her imagery was built up over decades and personal experiences at specific moments. She’s now intending to offer, through her paintings, a complete life span wherein references and people are aging and evolving with her. Wherein she’s now taking time to observe and getting deeper insight of what is surrounding her. Friends, mates, dreams, relatives, strangers, lover… All swirling together in her different series. Fascinated by small details and by the few chosen ones constituting her entourage, Lisse is, in the meantime, a real witness of her era and her existence slowly immortalizing her past and her future, her dreams and her reality. A sharp story teller who escaped and chased the rude world of today who created and who talks about an ‘alterality’. A playground for grown-ups showing dreamy oasis, floating mesmerizing smiles and starry eyes showing a step-by-step changing conditions of her ‘homies’ and multigenerational people. Through her work, Lisse Delercq aims to communicate a message of empathy and desire, inclusive words and reconnaissance.

To do so, and to depict her universe, she worked and developed a unique and personal technique. She first developed a more conceptual side linked to research and studies and then slowly came to what she’s doing today. At the first sight, that odd feeling you can get about it seems to absorb all your focus and your attention. Meticulous work consists of mimicking make-up gestures and savoir-faire: smashing and melting pigments and matters, using the brushes and the cottons. Making it in one layer only instead superpose them and learning from beauty tutorials you can scroll and watch on the social networks videos and platforms. A strong and recognisable graphic signature that replaces writing in her non stop evolving diary: collecting objects, stuff, small elements and faces from her running life.

Vince Vanden Bogaard, August 2022, Brussels (BE)