Dutch artist Jacco Olivier's work is exceptional in every sense: it combines painting and video in a manner that reveals a whole new side to the painterly process while using film in its ultimate form; as a documentation tool. The artist choses a subject that he paints in thick expressive brush strokes. He then reworks the painting in shape, colour, and form repeatedly. Every stage of this process is recorded meticulously with photography, after which the latter creates the final work: a sequenced film that shows the physical work's development.

Pike, 2012, is a typical sample of Olivier's work: we see a pike hover in what appears to be an underwater world. Both fish and surrounding continuously metamorphose before our eyes as the artist records every change he makes to the canvas. The resulting film presents the viewer with a window into a microcosm of every-day life that is obscured by the coincidently complex conception of the image.

Olivier's work manages to fuse tradition and modernity into a whole new creative form of expression: one of the most classic forms of artistic expression (oil painting) pairs with a quintessentially modern medium (film), producing a digital artwork that references not only the painterly process but art history's narrative itself. Pike must be, without doubt, the ultimate video work to own when looking for a painterly expressive, yet digitally formatted, piece of art.


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