In 2015 I went to an exhibition in Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp. I found these photos on my external hard drive and thought I would share these with you.
As art history and archaeology students they only teach us about the past. There is so much to know about the world of art that it’s impossible to teach someone about the past and the contemporary art scene in just three years. This is part of why I don’t know much about the contemporary artscene. I do try to keep up and discover as many artists as I can. It’s just a big unknown world that begs to be discovered.
I think about two years ago, I came in contact with the work of belgian artist Rinus van de Velde for the first time. Since I started working at Kunst in huis (roughly translated as Art in House, an art library where you can borrow art pieces as you would in a book library) in march 2015, I know more about the contemporary art scene in Belgium. My colleague knows a lot about this, which makes it interesting to work with her. She told me about Rinus van de Velde his work, I’ve seen it before, but never knew his name.
After a day of working I went home and immediately googled his name. A whole new world opened and everywhere I looked the name Rinus van de Velde popped up. From the first moment I needed to know more about his work. I don’t know what spoke to me the most about his work, his use of charcoal (I personally love working with this material), his subjects (the way he constructs everything he draws in real life aswell), …
The gallery was filled with monumental works and words filled up the gaps in between the frames. What you see here is the end of a long process. Prior to the result he builds the constructions you see on the final work. He designs and constructs these sets in his studio. After the building process he photographs the whole thing.
Through his work he tries to construct a persona, a fictional character, another side of him. Letting this fictional character do all the things that he wouldn’t be capable of. He accompagnies his drawings with short texts which helps you understand what you see.
This quote of Rinus in a interview with Koen Sels explains it all perfectly : “…the image is not to be trusted: to start with, it can be interpreted in so many different ways. I counter that by creating a clear and specific context with the caption. But my work is based on the idea of myself as the protagonist in a fictional autobiography. I do not believe it is worthwhile to be honest about myself. Why should the so-called truth about myself be interesting as a subject? In any case, I would soon run out of things to say. On the other hand, I do spend all day on that fictional life, so to some extent it is also my real life. Compare it to the fake bus shelters that are sometimes installed in the gardens of nursing homes: they give residents with dementia the feeling they can get away if they want to, which reduces their need to escape.”
There is so much more to say about this artist, which might happen in the future. But for now I’ll let you enjoy the photos and see for yourself how interesting Rinus van de Velde his work is.
This was originally published on Our Pursuit of Art.