Background information

Bianca Berends (1971) is born in Gouda The Netherlands. In 1989 at 17 years of age, she is accepted into the Academy for Arts in Maastricht from which she graduates in 1994. In 2000 she finishes her Masters in Art Science at the well-known Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She decides to specialise as a portrait painter when in 2004 one of her paintings is selected for the BP Portrait Award in London, one of the most important competitions for professional painters. With this goal in mind, she studies at the Florence Academy of Art and follows master classes with well known American portrait artists like Daniel Greene and Michael Shane Neal and attends yearly conferences organized by the American Society of Portrait Painters in de United States.

In 2017 one of her portraits received a Certificate of Excellence by The Portrait Society of America. Her work has been exhibited in different well-known museums and galleries in Great Britain and The Netherlands. She is recognized as one of the leading contemporary artists in The Netherlands and featured in the book ‘Portraits of Portrait Artists’. Since 2011 she works and lives a large part of the year on Curacao and had the honor of painting two portraits of former governor of Curacao Frits Goedgedrag. Her painting of the Dutch King Willem-Alexander hangs in many offices and gouvernement buildings in The Netherlands.

Artist Statement

My work is colorful and characterized by a solid, bold and expressive brushstroke. I am specialized in portraits but I’m first and foremost a painter.

My own series

Where likeness plays an important role in my commissions, it doesn't feature in my own series. I use multiple materials, but work mostly with oils on canvas. I like to combine abstract and figurative elements, look for interesting compositions and I'm inspired by people and my surroundings. I am fascinated by the play of light and shadow, children and scenes from everyday life and since a few years I have been working specifically on a continuous series called 'Beach Life'.


I like my portraits to emanate a certain joy of life, a twinkle in an eye or smile around the mouth. I am a perfectionist and I don’t want to only capture someone’s face in a most exact way, I also want the portrait to show someone’s character. To me it is important that the brushstroke is part of the painting and through that my portraits have a contemporary, modern look and are not painted photographically.

Frans Hals (1583-1666), Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923) and John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) are painters I admire, but I am also inspired by contemporary artists like Tai-Shan Schierenberg (1962), Meinbert Gozewijn van Soest (1964) (serie Trophy Heads), Jenny Saville(1970),  Milt Kobayashi (1950) and Robert Rauschenberg (1925 - 2008).