Belgian artist Rinus van de Velde opened his first solo exhibition “The Colony“ at the Koenig Gallery in Berlin on March 18th. Van de Velde, who lives and works in Antwerp, has gained global recognition for his photorealistic black and white charcoal drawings dealing with the theme of fiction, reality and finding a way to live in this world.
First solo exhibition
For his show at Koenig Galerie, he has created special installations featuring his drawings pressed against depictions of artworks of the twentieth century greats. The main protagonist in his portraits is an artist running a commune, one of van de Velde’s many alter egos.
Inspiration and conceptualization
Van de Velde’s work has always centered around the idea of himself as the main character in a fictional autobiography. To keep the story interesting, he invents alter egos and stories around them, mixing their adventures with experiences from his real life.
Van de Velde originally started his career drawing images he found in magazines, the internet and movies. To give his artworks a new meaning he added captions, simultaneously eliminating the previous context given in the photographs. These captions have somewhat become his signature. Van de Velde states that they are a necessity because isolated pieces of art can not be understood, but only when the viewer obtains their background information; knowledge on the context of creation and awareness of the artist’s life. This appears particularly true for contemporary art where all universal codes of understanding and decrypting are obsolete.
Lager than life sets
Today van de Velde has replaced the vintage photographies with photos made of his own sets. Larger than life sets of the scenes he wants to draw are built in his studio and photographed. To demonstrate and make clear that the scenes in his overly-realistic drawings are nonetheless fake fabrications, van de Velde has began to exhibit the constructed props as symbols of waste of his creative and working process.
Rinus van de Velde
“The Colony“ exhibition at Koenig Galerie Berlin from March 18th – April 23rd 2017
Koenig Galerie St. Agnes
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm
Tel.: + 49 30 261 030 80