Marcel Bastiaans paints in 3D

Marcel Bastiaans Picture credit: Studio040

A remarkable man and an unusual artist are epithets describing Marcel Bastiaans. The former Eindhoven citizen who now lives in Oirschot has chosen a technique only few other artists use: He paints in 3D.

He makes paintings, but also uses Lamborghini’s, Bugatti’s and Ducati’s as his canvas and gets commissions from Yahama, Ray-Ban, Tata Industries, NASA and Playboy. “I paint what I like. If others appreciate what I make, all the better. A few years ago I showed a few of my works to an artist friend of mine and he was flabbergasted. Without noticing it myself, I turned out to have the ability to paint 3D.  When I had become aware of this talent, I started experimenting to perfect the technique.”

Marcel kept this to himself for a long time, believing that people should like his work in 2D first. “Then I give them 3D glasses and then some viewers just lose it”. Marcel admits this was his initial reaction too. My colleague gave me 3D glasses and I looked at my own paintings. They exploeded! It ultimately took me three years to discover how to make that effect even stronger.”


Because Marcel had been creating this effect unconsciously, he had to find out what caused it. At first he thought it had to be the colours he used, but that wasn’t it. “Without giving the game away, it is connected to my usual technique of painting in layers, over thirty layers sometimes. I have developed this technique further now; I use it deliberately. I often visit exhibitions and have so far never seen anything that looks like what I do.”

A few of the works Marcel has painted are currently on display in gallery “De Kunstkeuken”  in Valkenswaard. Marcel explains:  “You gradually find out what works, you see. The place and positioning of the colours, but also the colour combinations. You think that the effect only occurs with red, or oange. But that’s not it. At one point i had made a painting with only green and gold. That did the trick as well.”

Design Academy

Marcel attended the Design Academy in Eindhoven where his first work was realistic. “Almost photorealistic, in fact, still lifes and such.  Gradually this blended into more abstract work. Well, you know, I have been drawing since I was five and painting since I was eight. My designer side shows in my work, graphic playfulness. Balance and harmony. removing a bit here means adding a line there and vice versa. It has to be just right.”

When asked whether his drive smacks of autism, he laughs. “I’m sure many artists have this. A touch of autism and high sensitivity. I did a test once that clearly showed I am highly sensitive. The result gave me inner peace. It helped me understand why I did not behave the same way the other children in school did. My wife recognises that trait in me as well.


Marcel hails from Eindhoven originally, but he also has a studio in New York and on Lesbos and on Ibiza. “But this is where I find peace. I have two studios in Oirschot. In one -in a former nunnery- I make sculptures. Two hundred metres further down in the same street I have my painting studio.”

Three galleries abroad also display Marcel’s work regularly: in Santa Barbara (US), Vienna and Florence. “We have an agreemnet that I am the one who decides what goes on display. The galleries in Austria and France are especially important for me, as they draw many possible buyers from other European countries, as well as Asian clients.”


Finally, what gives Marcel the most gratification? “When I can make people feel good, make them smile, that’s as simple as it can be. Perhaps this is the highest any artist can achieve, because tastes differ and you cannot please everyone. When my painting make people happy, that is kind of special to me.”

‘Believing is seeing’ is on now in gallery De Kunstkeuken, Markt 23 in Valkenswaard.
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