Tjalf Sparnaay's approach to his chosen subject is playful, humorous and at the same extremely classical and painterly. In Dutch Tradition he realizes the beauty of the commonplace. He takes trivial items such as traditionally served fish and chips or the vibrant, almost kitsch presentation of an ice cream sundae and enlarges them to a monumental size to remove the contact of their surroundings. When placed in a classical art environment they lose their utility value and take on a new identity. A trivial object depicted down to the tiniest and most specific detail becomes a majestic work of art.
Photography serves as Sparnaay's sketchbook: the snapshots are studies for his paintings. Each layer of the painting has been produced with intellectual precision, with photography as the point of departure. During the eighties and nineties snapshot photography and the narrative line of his archaic work came together in what Sparnaay calls 'Mega-Realism'. Where photography ends, Sparnaay's paintings start.