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WALTER DOLPHYN  
  
BIOGRAPHY
  
Walter was born in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1963.  An only son, he grew up in a family of artists.

His father Willem, grandfather Victor and uncle Denis were all painters, each with their own distinct style.

Walter's mother Yvonne was a very artistic, inspirational woman, whose poetry was greatly appreciated
by Walter's great-grandfather, the celebrated author Willem Elsschot.

Walter had been widely expected to tread in the footsteps of his illustrious ancestors, but initially there
was little to suggest that he would.  Instead, he graduated as a printer, a line of work he would pursue
for 6 years, first with the Antwerp provincial authorities and subsequently with a bank.

In the early 1990s however, Walter was confronted with a concurrence of circumstances that would
radically change his life:

            * Father Willem, who's never one to shy away from a challenge, agreed to do lead vocals on a
              single by the aptly named house music band "So What?"  One of the musicians invited Walter to               design the CD sleeve.  He gladly obliged and, being a self-confessed perfectionist, he didn't just               produce a sketch, but worked out an intricately detailed painting instead.

            * It suddenly dawned on Walter that the countdown to retirement, as he slowly withered away
              behind a copier in the basement of a bank, would last another 36 desperately dreary years.

            * The third decisive factor was the illness that had been increasingly affecting his grandfather Vic.                After the highly successful CD-cover experiment, Walter promised his ailing grandpa that he                would try to make it as a painter.



In 1992, after some (not-so-careful) deliberation with wife Inge, Walter waved goodbye to his "career" in
printing to devote himself fulltime to painting.
It would prove to be exactly the right move. 
Walter's new life as an artist got off to a flying start, despite his preference for excruciantingly tricky
subject matter: complex cityscapes, with special focus on decrepit facades, ramshackle doors and
rickety gates.

Still, expectations were high, as Walter felt the burden of Willem and Victor's reputation of technical excellence.  So, with the precision of a seasoned surgeon and the patience of a saint, he would detail
every nook and cranny, and to great effect.

Gradually, his technique evolved towards trompe l'oeil, with compositions featuring cabinets and shelves
filled to the brim with objects weathered and worn by time, especially old toys.

Walter's paintings invoke wonder, because, apart from technique applied, they have little in common with
the familiar genre of still life.  The objects are assembled and arranged with such painstaking precision
that a tangible tension is created that rests on a healthy dose of subtle humour. 
Or irony perhaps.

Be that as it may, Walter's work leaves no-one untouched.
And invariably, it conjures an endearing smile on the face of the viewer.