The artist


Juan Maria Bollé is a Flemish painter with Spanish roots on grandmother’s side. He is born in Vilvoorde, Belgium, in December 1958.

In 1985 he finished his studies at the St. Lucas Institute of Fine Arts in Brussels. Presently he is headmaster at the Academy of Fine Arts of Liedekerke.

During his studies he first explored drawing and black and white printmaking, with an emphasis on the etching technique. After his studies he focused on the medium of oil painting. Bollé’s first paintings grew out of the European figurative tradition and were based on classic disciplines such as the portrait, the nude, the still life and the landscape.


From 1985 till 1995 he had a few one-man exhibitions in Belgian art galleries and has been selected for several group exhibitions and art contests.



Since 1995 Bollé travelled through South-America, Africa and Asia. Those trips influenced his work profoundly. During a period of artistic crises, the artist destroys most of his paintings.

Bollé is searching for a new approach and chooses for a temporary artistic isolation. This results in a totally new style in which. a more realistic iconography took over.

His paintings not only try to express specific figurative characteristics but evoke the unchanging universal elements in an almost mystical sense.



Vision and contrast

Juan Maria Bollé is a painter 'pur sang’. In the shadows of contemporary art, his paintings refers to a language that matches with the international revival of figurative painting. In addition, he is in dialogue with historical tradition and adds his personal vision on painting.

His paintings are 'slow' paintings. They do not want to seduce or provoke. The spectator is invited to take his time to ‘read’ them carefully. Bollé is not searching for what makes a work of art contemporary or not, but on the contrary, to what makes a painting  timeless.

Left and right of the central image the paintings are flanked by two monochrome color fields. By choosing the color and tonality of those color fields arises an interaction with the figurative image, they  complement each o


Juan Maria Bollé’s paintings are based on photographic reproductions to launch a personal manipulation and interpretation of the image. The realistic fragments are common, but the global context and interpretation is complex. The paintings evoke a scale of associations and emotions, are often suggestive and characterised by a multiplicity of meaning. Therefore they transcend the realistic iconography.


Bollé’s paintings are not let by grand gestures, but are marked by an ambiguous, “unheimlich" feeling.