Sunday, 22 April 2018

Erwin Keustermans / Carlo Zinelli

Carlo Zinelli, me, my daughter and my sister

In matters of art and pictures it seems that people first look at the story and only then to the way it is told. And it is no different when they deal with outsider art.
The main attraction seems to be
1) how strange that somebody that is not normal can make this thing
2) how weird/sad his/her life was
3) what is this strange person trying to tell us in his/her strange work.

To me however the most salient characteristic of outsider art is the form that it takes, the shapes that are drawn, and the ways of drawing and painting that are adopted. And I have little curiosity for who this person was - or at least I don't think it will help me understand the forms. And I do not need to know if these forms stem from a special aptitude to creativity or if these people share in a common pictorial language or if they have a tendency to manierism. I find it foremost refreshing that they make pictures out of the ordinary.

Zinelli is one of these people whose work I find compellingly formalistic.
Silhouettes are arranged in irregular rows, interspersed with staccato characters. People are represented each with a very peculiar morphology. Each combination forms a type, a class of its own. Where I tend to think of animals, people included, as bilateral creatures with a number of appendages and a head and a tail end, Zinelli makes holes into their bodies and fuses them with other animals and tools. There is (almost) no texture, no shading, a limited range of colours (I prefer here to show them as black and whites). Hard to to do better, I think.

But I shouldn't try to paraphrase so here are few images made by Zinelli. 

Carlo Zinelli
taken from Pinterest

Carlo Zinelli
taken from a blog post

Next to those I have chosen some of my drawings that are permutations on the bilateral form. This is not my 'main line' of work but I do have a few sidelines I cherish.
Then there is also my redrawing of a series of drawings my daughter did when she was - I guess - about 8 or so. And a redrawing of characters drawn by my 60 year old sister who had a stroke as a baby and is mentally impaired.
The pictures for Zinelli are sourced from the web so I have no details except that they were drawn in the sixties.
Erwin Keustermans, 2018

Erwin Keustermans
bilateral with head and tail and branching limbs
negro pencil and encre de chine
4 AA pages

Erwin Keustermans
Japanese lion
encre de chine

Erwin Keustermans
re-drawing after drawings by Kristiane Keustermans
pastel on paper, digital composition

Erwin Keustermans (BE)
an array of bodyplans re-drawn from drawings by Piffin Keustermans
digital drawing