All that glitters is not gold.
Brieke Drost paints desire solidified. Often in the form of jewellery or other small treasures, sometimes in the form of shiny knick-knacks made of tin or glass, evoking a childish greed and a vain urge to cherish.
In vain, because shine and transparency are pre-eminently associated with what is most ephemeral and transient and which cannot be preserved: a dewdrop, a ray of sunlight, a flower, a juicy berry, or the shiny chestnut in your pocket that you polished so hard as a young child but lost its shine all the same. Precious metals and gemstones – while durable – come close to that shine and transparency in their ability to reflect light, and that makes them a popular substitute.
Drost depicts the objects of her choice meticulously and lovingly, without making a distinction. A shiny piece of tin plate and a diamond ring, released from their surroundings and transformed into paint on panel, become magical in equal measure. The imagination far surpasses the original in terms of allure, and in a kind of reverse alchemical process the gold’s significance is dismantled, creating an inimitable play with price, value and the unfulfillable human desire to possess light.
Harma Heikens 2021
translation Jenny Wilson 2022