The choice for desirable times
Bert Mertens’ pictorial universe leads us off the beaten track of contemporary despair. He does not seek to translate the darkness of the world but rather to show its islands of clarity.
It is a journey through places that seem familiar only to provoke astonishment, questions, and laughter, when the real slips through the detail into the unusual. Bert Mertens creates trompe l’oeil entrances into our certainties in order to better shake them up.
These are still scenes from everyday life that give a glimpse of furtive moments where the possibility of a gentle life shines through.

Bert Mertens’ portraits breathe; they capture the intensity of a presence. It is the sweet taste of the morning, when a child smiles in confidence. The playfulness of a carefree moment. The inner light of a face that bears the marks of time with serenity.
Bert Mertens’ art is the result of the choice to maintain positive energy, whether it is applied to people or landscapes. Underneath his signature is the curved line of a smile…
The artist has adopted Keats’ formula “a thing of beauty is a joy for ever”, which underlies the entirety of his work. His choice of the figurative, his calligraphic games and lyrical abstractions all reflect the same impetus, the same tonicity, the same ability to inspire desire.
In a time of global disarray, this art, which despairs neither of man nor of the world, is a salutary breath of fresh air.
Myriam Watthee-DelmotteResearch Director at the FNRS – Professor at the UCLouvainMember of the Royal Academy of Belgium