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Home Society Exhibitions of the artistic Moortgat family at Schelle: “No idea from whom we have inherited our talent” (Schelle)

Exhibitions of the artistic Moortgat family at Schelle: “No idea from whom we have inherited our talent” (Schelle)

by News Room
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Cartoon by Danny Moortgat.© bar

Danny Moortgat is known in the Rupel area as an artistic multifaceted. He recently made a statue of Niel in memory of the resistance movement De Zwarte Hand, and the municipality also has a statue of St. Hubertus with his hand. But he’s also a draftsman, cartoonist, photographer, musician – with his own Wheely Dan Band, and conferences.

Only Belgian

So there’s really no need to introduce him anymore. But brother Ronny actually produces even more impressive artistic achievements as a marine painter, although they are little known here in his own area. “Across the pond” in the UK even more so. Ronny rarely comes forward with his examples of maritime painting, but he is the only Belgian who managed to become a member of the highly prestigious Royal Society of Maritime Artists in London, which you get forever.

“I still remember well the first time I went by train to London with a few works in my suitcase. I was rejected and I thought it would never work, but I stayed angry.”

Ronny Moortgat

Marine painter

Ronny Moortgat’s sketch for a painting of the Battle of Quiberon Bay. “I always do a sketch first because all the details have to be right.”© bar

“Historically, England has always been a strong sea power. The bar is therefore very high in marine painting, they are very strict and precise in it. It’s a struggle to get into the Royal Society,” he says. “I still vividly remember the first time I went by train to London with a few works in my suitcase. I was rejected and thought it would never work, but I stayed angry,” he laughs.

A persistence that did him no harm, as it brought him to the famous British gallery Gladwell & Patterson. A glance at their website provides proof: Moortgat’s works cost up to several tens of thousands of euros. His works have also found their way to the United States.

Beginner

The fruits of his career, which he has been practicing for 62 years. This is in stark contrast to cousin Stefan, who started drawing two years ago. “Actually, I’ve always liked drawing. In classes at school – as so many do – I often dared to do it,” he laughs. “The teacher who noticed it even thought my work was clever and it stuck somewhere.”

“At the moment I only draw what I like: it can be cars, landscapes, but also just coffee bags or milk jugs.”

Stefan Moortgat

A budding artist

“But you also have to be able to gather the necessary discipline, which is not always possible for everyone when they are younger. Now I got to taste it. At the moment, I only draw what I like: it can be cars, landscapes, but also, for example, just coffee bags or milk jugs.”

One of Stefani’s first works based on Malflieti’s painting.© bar

Boats also appear in his early work, just like Uncle Ronny. Brothers Danny and Ronny don’t know where they inherited their artistic talent because they have no clues on either side. “My mother’s side had a number of riverboat skippers, while my father worked in the local shipbuilding industry and was very handy, which may explain the fascination.”

A common denominator gave Danny the idea to organize an exhibition together. This is now taking shape in Bystervelt’s local museum Schellen. However, purely based on sketches and drawings. This can be accessed for free on Sunday, May 26 and June 30 from 14:00 to 17:00 at the Peperstraat museum.

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