Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: digital abstract expressionist

digital abstract expressionist

Jean Detheux - from the animation "Bénin."

Some time ago a generous reader and commenter sent me a link to the website of a fascinating artist. Jean Detheux, was born and educated in Belgium and has been living in North America for the past three decades. He "has been an assistant dean at The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture and an instructor at Parsons School of Design, as well as New York University, Algonquin College, Concordia University and the Alberta College of Art, where he was also chairman of the department of drawing."

Detheux used to be a painter and is now working exclusively digitally due to allergies to paint fumes and solvents. He spent a great deal of time trying to find a way to work with computers that would be a logical continuation of his previous work. He worked on an old Mac with tools like Painter and Studio Artist and a drawing tablet. "I am making digital 2D animation without a story board, without planning, without a story line, without characters, very much along the lines of (digital) "abstract expressionism," Detheux has stated.

Most informative concerning his process is this interview of him that was published 5 years ago called Digital Abstract Expressionism. At the time of this interview he was living on a farm in Canada, somewhere between Montreal and Toronto, with his family and doing his digital artworks. It particularly fascinates me is how he adapted to a totally digital way of art making and managed to continue making highly expressive work.

Visit his site showing his art works, both natural and digital, his writings and several tutorials. Don't miss this beautiful example of Detheux's animation work Bénin. An inspiring artist! Thanks for the link, Bill!

PS. Here is more about Jean Detheux, in a later post.

Marja-Leena | 12/07/2006 | 6 comments
themes: Other artists


Hi Marja-leena, thanks for this post! I'd never heard of Jean Detheux but all I can say is WOW! Also, from yesterday's post...Like Water for Chocolate is one of my favorite novels. I've read it in English and Spanish!

Thank you for this link. From a very quick glance it looks interesting, and I look forward to reading the article.

Hi Elise, I'd never heard of him before either. And you can read Spanish! Did you notice if the original and the translation were equally good or not? - just curious.

Omega, Because you work a lot digitally, I'd be interested in hearing what you think after reading the article and checking out his work.

Thanks Marja for this. What he has done reminds me what I do to some photos, which is turn them into abstract artwork. I look forward to reading his interview, however I'm at work right

Hi Marja-Leena,

I love in his C.V. how after teaching drawing at the Studio School he becomes a cook for a buddist monastery. His C.V. leaves out his career as a race car driver before leaving europe.

Glad you liked his work.

Hi Cathy! I l also use photos as the foundation of my digital work, as I think a lot of artists do. Detheux seems to start from "scratch" I think, but I'm not sure.

Bill, I could not find his CV, just bits of information here and there, like in the interview! Anyway, Detheux has had quite an interesting life, and must be quite a character in real life. You have met him so you would know.