(Hans) Versteeg

The artistic talents of Hansa were always manifest, even though he started painting with oil only in his seventies. His career was centered around graphic design, where he gained vast experience in simple yet efficient visual communication. Nowadays his free work plays an ever-growing role, initially in the form of photography. Unexpectedly, for himself and others, Hansa made a change in 2010 to oil painting as an art form. Over a short period of time he developed into a painter with a major talent for painting fabric and light, similar to the masters of the 17th century such as Gerard ter Borch.
Hansa prefers to paint with the use of a model and he can spend a lot of time looking for a suitable face or figure. Besides fabric as a starting point a news image or an experience can also commence a chain reaction for a new painting. He loves to challenge himself technically and by choosing complex subject matter. When he starts to work on a theme he systematically visits art collections and museums to study the work of for example van Eyck in Gent, Martin Schongauer in Colmar, Raphael and Titian in Italy or Tiepolo in Würzburg. Every next work of art is a challenge to gain in quality, complexity and effectiveness of craftsmanship and communication.
A discreet serenity is a prerequisite for a successful painting – according to Hansa. The image needs to be intimate and aim at a balance between the emotional and the rational. His own artistic voice is grafted in centuries of European artistic and spiritual tradition. He puts his talent, his artisanship, his convictions but most of all his heart into his work. He practices the art of living. This attitude, the intimacy and truthfulness of it, often opens the channel for a heart to heart flow of communication with the viewer. Spectators might see or emphasize different elements, according to their own situation and history, but most people are touched in one way or another by these paintings. Some people are even changed by them.
Hansa calls attention to problems in a realistic manner. Yet his kind of realism differs from the detachment of superrealism. He stays involved with his subject matter. His works highlight ethical, often political questions about right or wrong in society, the challenges of our times like aggression, refugees, our environment or loneliness. His compassion in action happens through painting. Compassionism. His antidote to fear and hatred in this world is love and attention conveyed through beauty. He inspires to question and interpret life anew.
Anikó Tóth, cultural historian and art curator