The park, 2005

As Dirt Road, The Park doesn’t represent anything in particular apart from various tree trunks seen from above, framed almost at ground level. The range of shades used by Luc Tuymans is relatively clear and muted and the painting seems to be of a night scene. It is also testament to the artist’s work process, which starts from a photograph taken or found, which is then re-photographed once or several times with a Polaroid up until the right image is obtained and finally transposed on a canvas whose size may vary. Here, the painting has kept a trace of the source of light that enabled the photograph to be taken—Is it a flash? A torch light?—as well as the typical Polaroid “discoloration” effect in some shades and details. On the other hand, the twilight eeriness of the painting reminds of the great masters of Belgian symbolist painting such as James Ensor, Léon Spilliaert, William Degouve de Nuncques, Georges Le Brun and Xavier Mellery.