‘The paintings of M. Paul de Bie have the stamp of technical precision reminiscent of the old masters or the Neue Sachlichkeit movement of the 20th century. The sitters are depicted in their small secluded cosmos, allowing the viewer to watch an exterior scenery, from which conclusions can be drawn regarding their inner lives. The pleasure of using details to render man and environment is tender rather than voyeuristic.’

- Dr. J. Moster-Hoos (Curator Horst-Janssen-Museum Oldenburg, Germany) -

‘Marie Paul de Bie’s pictorial language centres on the figure-in-the-room. Using a rich range of poetic details – trees, creeping tendrils, windows, birds – his pictures play with inner and outer, escape and refuge. At first sight, the temptation is to apply that most suspect of labels, ‘magic realism’; but these pictures actually owe far more to symbolist currents (Balthus especially comes to mind) as well as the pure realism of German Neue Sachlichkeit.
One recent picture, Mon père ce héros, is particularly striking as an effective inversion of these “room worlds”. A retired man sits in the garden of a low-slung Dutch house, surrounded by characteristic realist flourishes: chaotic vegetation, a plastic coffeepot and lawn chairs – an ordinariness seething with memory and suggestiveness.
Just as artists in the 1890s sought to break free of the constrictions of classicism by creating new mythologies and formal possibilities, so Marie Paul de Bie is part of a loosely linked new mood, pushing against the new ‘academic’ stranglehold of video art, with its invariably insincere (and self-perpetuating) ‘critiques’. By constructing a communicable visual language, and in turn pushing against those boundaries, he is part of the growing tendency to recreate a genuine avant garde through the technical rigours of painting and drawing.’

- J.R. Purcell (Art critic Financial Times) -

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