About the first reliefs

index of sculptures 1988 to 2024

Chevrolet Chevelle 1965 was the first bas relief, introducing a whole new take on the age old bas-relief format. This invention did not come out of nowhere.

How the first bas-reliefs came about,

After opting to work exclusively in used timbers in 1996 the boat models were an instant succes. But it proved hard to move beyond and break new territory:
“The Kadett and Globe sculptures were my final attempts to make the full 3d modelling technique work for a wider range of subjects and on a more monumental scale. Although successful in themselves, the sculptures did not seem to point a way forward. The Doelen project had left me with a taste for innovation and for working on a larger scale, and the smaller models now felt too limited.”: “… I needed an approach for my bread-and-butter artwork that would offer prospects for further artistic development and would at the same time be suitable for commissioned projects.
Then one day the solution arose: the bas-relief! In retrospect I wonder why it took me so long to arrive at it. It is really only a small step from a ship half-hull model to a bas-relief. Some people even confuse the two.”

Image: A computer sketch to assess colour application for the Chevelle bas-relief. Note the schematic approach at this stage. Although the next reliefs revealed the possibilities of incorporated shadows and reflections the ‘flat’ approach returns in the Ferrari 500TRC and later works.

Images: Studio view Lekhaven.

Image top: A selection of tiny jpeg’s from the Gillys Car Wreckers website collected in 2000. Gillys.com was one of the many excellent image sources in the early days of the internet. Most disappeared quite quickly, a victim of their own success. Bandwidth was expensive back then.

More photo’s and sketches from this period:

The first series of bas reliefs was made in 2000 and 2001. All of them were cars: