Saturday, 28 March 2015

Marthe Zink / Roger Raveel

Roger Raveel
oil, synthetic mirror glass, canvas
145 x 114 cm

With his right hand on his knee and a square mirror face, Raveel takes a sitting position in a space which exhales void. The blue plinth falls on both sides of the canvas and in this way goes into the space outside the painting. The square shape of the green edged mirror comes back into the framed white emptiness defined in the background. The work is called 'Introspection', Raveel’s right hand that painted on canvas, is prominently in the foreground. As a viewer, you are confronted with yourself by the mirror and you become part of the work. Raveel allows you to be part of his way of seeing things.
His work has many contrasts, for example, between organic forms like human figures and nature and geometric shapes. All have a different physical presence and a different approach in his way of painting. The observable reality is very important in his work, as well as the relationship between space and time in which matter is brought to life by the spirit.
Marthe Zink, 2015

Marthe Zink (NL)
Narcissus in Nowadays Society
mixed media on paper
80 x 120 cm

Narcissus is surrounded by emptiness, his own reflection in the water is no longer visible, his face is transformed into a head without eyes, although he is still able to call everything without having any idea of what he’s doing. I’ve chosen this drawing of mine in which the confrontation with the mirroring image/reflection is central.
In this work I refer to Narcissus by Caravaggio (1598/1599). Narcissus, in the stories of Ovidius, falls in love with his own reflection. He tries to embrace his mirror image, but every time it disappears in ripples of water. This makes him languish into a daffodil. I compare this with today's society where everyone strives to be seen as an individual, making us more identical and actually languishing us as well. I made this work during my Artist in Residency at DRAWInternational. While working on it, a mirror fell and broke. I saw this as a predestined occurrence. The superstition of a broken mirror comes from the time of the Roman Empire and says that a broken mirror affects the soul.
In my drawings I make contradictions between figurative and abstract geometric style elements and want to make the audience look at familiar images in a different way.
Marthe Zink, 2015

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Marcel Berlanger / Caravaggio

oil on canvas mounted on a convex wooden shield
55 x 48 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

My version of Medusa is a painting on a light box with big holes. It is a portrait of Noami Watts as the jellyfish (funny translation of Medusa of course) of Caravaggio. The portrait is extracted from the King Kong movie by Peter Jackson, just when Naomi is sandwiched between a tyrannosaur and King Kong. But if you look closely you only see the many spots of the Hollywood studio lights in her eyes. I added neon lamps behind the painting to create wedged stupefaction between two technical moments, and the holes are connectors.
Marcel Berlanger, 2014

Marcel Berlanger (BE)
Enseigne Méduse 
aluminium lightbox, neons, oil on glass fibre
260 x 160 x 18 cm 

Marcel Berlanger (BE)
Enseigne Méduse
aluminium lightbox, neons, oil on glass fibre
260 x 160 x 18 cm 

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Caren van Herwaarden / Francisco de Zurbarán

Francisco de Zurbarán
Agnus Dei
oil on canvas
37 × 62 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

In Zurbaran’s art all is silent. His sober brown/black/white paintings do not distract with colour, narrative or lavish form. He paints metre-high portraits of pale monks, wrapped in coarsely woven, brown robes. They look at you seriously and questioningly: who are you, what are you doing and where were you? They are encounters. 
The Agnus Dei of 1635-1640 is my favourite. It hangs in the main room of the Prado Museum, Madrid, in the company of the enormous paintings by, among others, Velazquez and El Greco. A lamb lies on its side, its head stretched out, its four feet tied together. It does not struggle; it lies still and awaits its fate. Who are you, what are you doing, where were you? You do not have to be a believer nor an Einstein to discover the analogy with Jesus Christ, but through Zurbaran’s understatement you get the idea that you have thought it up yourself. 
I thought of Spain, the time I went walking with my dog. I thought of how my trusty, gentle hound, on coming across a flock of sheep, turned within seconds into a raging killer. I realized that nothing I could do would keep him from going after those roaming clouds, the fluffy beasts. Sheep do not defend themselves. It does not occur to them to join together to protect their lambs. All they do is flee, let themselves be driven into the barbed wire. They surrender with no resistance. Barely a half hour later the dog returned, panting and happily wagging his tail, while behind him, spread out in the meadow, lay three dead lambs. Why? Because he was able do it. Unsatisfying, but for the question of why atrocities take place this is probably the most definitive answer.
Caren van Herwaarden, 2015

Caren van Herwaarden (NL)
30 x 16 cm
private collection Rotterdam