Why adding art by Peter Engels to your collection?

You buy art because you love it. But it would be nice if that art also retains its value or even becomes more valuable. Here’s why art by Peter Engels is collectible.

Peter Engels became world famous when he painted the portrait of Nelson Mandela. The painting appeared on the world’s largest billboard in Times Square, New York, when Mandela turned 90. The international press wrote that Peter Engels had managed to paint Mandela’s soul. This boosted Peter Engels’ art career.

The fact that Prince Albert of Monaco bought Peter Engels’ portrait of his mother Princess Grace Kelly added to the upward spiral.

Peter Engels exhibits worldwide and he has art in every continent. Big names want to be portrayed, they order paintings from him and shower his art with praise as you will read further on.

Despite some major and emotional setbacks, Peter Engels does not give up and continues to paint excellent portraits in his own unique style, with the pallet knife and in his sparse colors. This makes him the best pallet knife painter in the most difficult art discipline: portraits. That is why you have to add original art from Peter Engels to your collection.

Amazing effect

When you look at Peter Engels’ work, do this exercise: look at the work from up close and then gradually step back and view it from a distance. The effect is impressive! The knife strokes are so large that the painting seems abstract. From a distance you can see the portrait in all its glory. Typical features of his very own style are the big close-ups where eyes and mouth are primordial. The rest is decor and falls off the canvas.

Peter Engels wants to paint intensively, exhibit worldwide and show his work at the best international art fairs like FIAC (Paris), Art Basel (Basel & Miami), Frieze (London & New York), The Armory (New York), Tefaf (Maastricht).

If you like the Vintage style of Peter Engels and you buy one or more works of art from him, it would be a nice bonus if the work continues to increase in value.

Peter Engels meets and paints Karl Lagerfeld

You can guess what happened when Peter Engels, walking past The Mercer Hotel in Soho, New York, accidentally bumped into Karl Lagerfeld. This meeting resulted in an impressive canvas of the flamboyant Lagerfeld: sunglasses, bow tie, white ponytail… Exactly the colour palette that Peter Engels likes to use.

In this painting fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld gazes to the viewer through his dark glasses. We barely see his eyes. It is the look of the model, posing and gazing at the painter.

In the background Peter Engels painted a blurry city skyline alongside a river. Is it New York where he met Karl Lagerfeld? Or is it Lagerfeld’s hometown Paris where the two of them met again? Or is it Saint-Tropez coast line where they met a third time? A few touches of red add the only bright colour to the painting and gives it its depth.

Later when Karl Lagerfeld and Peter Engels met again, Lagerfeld spoke the historical words: “A mirror reflects my face. This painting reflects my soul.“

The Michael Jackson painting starts crying

On the Indonesian island of Lombok, Michael Jackson was immortalized on a large canvas. Looking at the painting you feel the pain. The passion explodes from the canvas. Engels mixed Lombok beach sand for extra texture to the paint.

Later the Michael Jackson portrait was water damaged in a French art gallery during a nightly storm. As a result, it looks as if Michael cries. As if teardrops roll down his face.

It looks like a supernatural phenomenon. As if Michael Jackson wants to tell us something from the grave. Artist Peter Engels is not superstitious, but he thinks that the tears give the painting an extra dimension. The artist tries to find a plausible explanation for this: “I painted this portrait on the island of Lombok. To give the paint more texture, I mixed beach sand in it. Normally oil and acrylic paint can tolerate a splash of water. But apparently not when it is mixed with this sand.”

Michael Jackson’s right eye started to tear when rainwater seeped in the gallery where the artist had an exhibition. Artist Peter Engels: “I will leave it this way. Mother Nature gave the painting the perfect finishing touch.”

Peter Engels art accomplishments.

As said earlier Peter Engels painted the portrait of Nelson Mandela. It was displayed on the largest billboard of the world in Times Square, New York, on Mandela’s birthday.

Prince Albert of Monaco bought Peter Engels’ portrait of Grace Kelly.

Peter Engels painted pop music icon Madonna as his version of the Mona Lisa: with a soft and mysterious smile, in sharp contrast to the stage beast that we know.

The very last portrait of tenor Luciano Pavarotti was painted in Italy by Peter Engels, just a few weeks before the world-famous singer passed away.

The portrait of Robert De Niro with cigar is intriguing. The painted canvas is rough; the expression on De Niro’s face says it all. It does not resemble, but is Robert De Niro. The painting was published on the cover of an exclusive cigar magazine.

Peter Engels also met and painted James Bond actor Roger Moore, jazz legend Toots Thielemans and thriller author Bob Mendes.  See video of the portrait of thiller author Bob Mendes. And many, many more…

Peter Engels painted Hippocrates, the father of medicine. An art collector bought the painting before it was dry. Up to date this is Peter Engels most expensive painting. Engels studied the few remaining sculptures that were made of the ancient Greek philosopher and brought him back to life on a large canvas. The penetrating and breath-taking magnum opus is quite contemporary at the same time. The painting actually conceals Hippocrates’ wise words. In Greek, obviously: ‘Let Your Food Be Your Medicine’. Watch the VIDEO

What better moment for celebrity portrait painter Peter Engels to have Virgin boss and business tycoon Richard Branson model ‘live’ for him than during a two and a half hour interview? Peter Engels: ‘It seemed the perfect opportunity to have Richard Branson pose for me. Charming lady Marlène de Wouters interviewed him, but most of all, she easily kept Richard Branson smiling for a couple of hours, which was just enough for me to finish the painting.’ In front of an international audience of 1,600 journalists, politicians, students and entrepreneurs,  Peter Engels painted Richard Branson’s close-up portrait on a large canvas (100x200cm). In the background we see the Antwerp skyline by night. The painting was signed by Richard Branson himself, making this piece of art an even more desirable collector’s item. (see video)

Peter Engels finished the Vintage Portrait of Belgian royalty Princess Astrid, sister of the Belgian King Philippe. Peter Engels was invited to her villa in Brussels for a chat and a photo shoot (see video).

Nicole Kidman lived in Peter Engels’ home village, Brasschaat. She stayed just 500 meters from his atelier and used to jog down his street. Nicole Kidman was there to shoot some of the scenes for her new movie, ‘Grace of Monaco’. The story is about Grace Kelly’s involvement with Monaco’s Prince Rainier and France’s Charles De Gaulle dispute over tax laws in the early 1960s. This painting is a tribute to both Nicole Kidman and Grace Kelly. Watch the sunlight shining delicately through the holes in the straw hat, creating some beautiful claire-obscure effects onto the skin.

Peter Engels was commissioned to paint the portrait of the late cosmetics tycoon Estée Lauder to revive her villa in Cannes, South of France.

Peter Engels was commissioned to make the sculpture of Jordan Queen Rania.

Peter Engels was commissioned to create the sculpture of Michelin star chef and father of ‘nouvelle cuisine’ Roger Vergé. The large sculpture was positioned in the market place of Mougins, South of France. A miniature serves as award for the Roger Vergé international chef’s contest.

Peter Engels painted a giant portrait of David Bowie. The painting was sold and shipped to the world’s biggest Bowie fan, an English billionaire, who owns Bowie’s valuable guitar collection.

Peter Engels also painted thousands of commissions of men, women and children. But also captains of industry, family portraits, and even animals like dogs and million-dollar race horses.

Distaster strikes: 10 paintings by artist Peter Engels destroyed in storage fire.

April 6, 2021, a major fire reduced a Belgian garden company to ashes. The adjacent storage facility that held 10 recent paintings by artist Peter Engels also went up in flames. The large, recently painted portraits were to be exhibited at the famous “Never Give Up” art gallery in Knokke. Sadly the complete summer exhibition “Bond & Girls” was destroyed in minutes while they took Peter Engels two years to create.

Which works of art were burned? Obviously, a large portrait of the current James Bond actor Daniel Craig could not be missed in this Bond & Girls collection. With the classic Bond car in the background of the canvas, his Aston Martin DB5. The same car featured in the large painted portrait of Bond actor Pierce Brosnan. The life-size portrait of Sean Connery, who died in October 2020, would certainly have turned out to be a centerpiece of the summer exhibition. Peter Engels met Roger Moore and painted several portraits of him. For this exhibition Engels made a new one. Striking detail: in these paintings the James Bonds don’t carry weapons. They toast with martinis, shaken not stirred, to a happy future.

The paintings of Monica Bellucci, Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz and two portraits of Brigitte Bardot were also lost in the fire. Most paintings had a separate canvas on which an inspiring quote from the person concerned was painted. These too were consumed by the flames.

Last summer, Peter Engels painted the “live” portrait of the Dutch pop artist Loes Van Delft, who has also exhibited several times in the Never Give Up gallery. That portrait has also been lost.

Peter Engels is emotional about the 10 paintings. Two years of work were lost in this fire. He did’t give up and quickly picked up the pace. The day after the inferno he stated: “Today I will paint again. Like a pilot who is behind the control stick within 24 hours after the crash.”

“I only have photos of the lost paintings. Perhaps those digital images will become famous NFTs. That is digital art for the new art collector. Even Sotheby’s is working on it. The fact that these were once real paintings, makes the photos of the burnt paintings very special.”

Peter Engels, painter of the soul

Peter Engels himself calls his paintings ‘Vintage Portraits’ as he always has famous people posing for him. The ‘vintage’ aspect is reinforced by the sepia tones he uses.

Paintbrushes are of no use here. Peter Engels exclusively paints with the palette knife, conferring the oeuvre a kind of three-dimensionality and a texture that catches the light beautifully. This adds to the conspicuously handmade aspect of the canvases and is in sharp contrast with mass produced images. (See video)

Peter Engels’ artistic uniqueness is highlighted in the way he frames his subjects on canvas, an act of revolutionary creativity. His sepia colorite, his extraordinary style and his particular style of painting with a palette knife are his unique signature. (see video)

Peter Engels goes beyond merely painting the physical features. He captures the inner soul. Peter Engels’ ‘Vintage Portraits’ have a rare quality and style, as well as a contemporary artistic, mature look. The art of portrait painting literally receives a new phase, a fresh look in Peter Engels’ work. As if portrait painting rises from the dust like a phoenix.

We have never seen this particular style before. It is new and unique. We recognize a Peter Engels by his style: the sparse colour palette, the use of the thick knife strokes, the position of the heads on the canvas, the large close-ups and the fact that he calls them Vintage Portraits. Peter Engels’ style inspires many artists around the world.

Painting portraits like Peter Engels does is profoundly artistic. It requires skill and technique. It requires talent, vision and style. It is creative. And it is not ‘l’art pour l’art’. No sensationalism. No pseudo-philosophy explanation needed. This art speaks for itself. This is pure quality work with a rich composition and a talented, swift technique. Keywords like ‘high quality’ and ‘highly virtuous’ come to mind. See video of the portrait of thiller author Bob Mendes.

‘I mostly like to paint the characteristic portraits of famous actors, writers, politicians, businessmen, musicians.’ says Peter Engels. But he also paints commissioned works: beloved ones, wives, husbands, children, relatives…

It is fascinating to see how the thousands of knife strokes gradually form a face and bear the unmistakable signature of the master. Peter Engels says about this himself: ‘I want to capture that bright, glorious look or expression so that the faces shine, show emotion and really seem to live.’ (See video)

Quote by the Artist about the flash in an infinite universe.

PETER ENGELS: ‘The most beautiful thing about painting Vintage Portraits is the capturing of an emotion. The perpetuation of that significant though brief moment, merely a flash in the infinite universe, I find that quite fascinating. My paintings make people immortal. People who make a difference: famous, infamous, loved, hated, known or unknown. The life stories are all unique with a deep meaning and a charged atmosphere. I like to combine this with a specific and contemporary style, a strong technique and a sepia colorite so that my work is recognizable at first glance.’

Vintage sculptures

Some of the large Vintage Sculptures by Peter Engels are based on his paintings. For the 50 year anniversary of James Bond Peter Engels created the Vintage Sculpture of Sean Connery called ‘Bond #1’. To celebrate his love for the South of France he gave life to the Brigitte Bardot sculpture called ‘Saint-Tropez’. Peter Engels also makes Vintage Sculptures on demand, signed by the artist and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

These sculptures are made of rusty, industrial looking, durable Corten steel that is composed of iron, copper, phosphorus, silicon, nickel and chromium. One sculpture approximately weighs  3.000 kg or 6.600 lbs. The concrete base of the structure can be invisibly buried under ground. Choose the right, light enough and neutral background to place these see through sculptures. At night well lit Vintage Sculptures are fairylike and festive.

Peter Engels plans to make a whole series of these impressive and exclusive Vintage Sculptures. They are the ideal and totally maintenance free art that lends an artistic and sophisticated touch to parks, gardens and squares. These Vintage Sculptures can be transported, delivered and positioned any where in the world.

Interview with Peter Engels

About portrait painter Peter engels

Interviews at an exhibition

Peter Engels interview by John Hussa

What people say about artist Peter Engels

Peter Engels paints Belgian Princess Astrid (in Dutch)