Jos van Vreeswijk, who lives in Belgium, has been making sculpture for the last 30 years. Sculptures that one way or another reflects the innermost processes of the artist. After a long period of searching and experimenting he has achieved the inner peace which was essential for him to be able to capture the equilibrium between form and content in his work.
Jos van Vreeswijk is a person of extremes. A striking example of an artist whose whole way of life in a most complicated way is combined with his work. A hothead, who has often chucked away a partly finished sculpture simply because it didn’t look as though it would work. A thinker, who is occupied perpetually with the contrasts between good and bad, shape and content, heaven and earth. If you want to understand his work you would have to know about his life; and once you know that you can read his development as a person and also as an artist in his work.
He is also a skeptic: he has moments of contentment and periods of discontent, of questioning. If he aks an interested spectator what he thinks of his sculpture, he is not simply being polite. He really wants to know; because he is someone, who, having completed a work, falls into a hole. He is uncertain whether his intentions have been thoroughly realised, or that esthetics have dominated the content, or that perhaps another kind of stone would have been better.
Jos van Vreeswijk is as a person and as an artist a self-taught man. He fought both to learn how to live as well as to learn his profession; don’t accept anything from another, make mistakes and start all over again, even though the going is tough. Conquer your fears and be your own boss.
His first love
An important part of his life was dominated by this struggle with life and with art. In these difficult years his wife, Wilma, has played an extremely important role. It is so hackneyed to say that the succes of a man is dependent on his wife, but in this case it is undoubtedly true. Wilma is Jos’ good genius.
His first love, painting, was obviously not the medium for him in which to express himself. He decided on sculpture. The first work he made was a knot; very significant of the mental state he was in. This was followed by a series of other sculptures which were closed within themselves. Centres of growth which remained within their skin, insects which remained hidden in their shell. Always shapes which had, in some way or another, some relation to nature. It was as if he realised even then that in nature life manifests itself.