Statement

 

I am interested in a form of narrative painting, where people exist in a story and are part of a timeless dramatic setting. They are often undertaking a mysterious activity. Perhaps they are on their way somewhere, performing a task, or at a meeting. Different things are happening at the same time. Everyone seems to be walking around in a world with no order, sometimes in groups, sometimes fleeing from an unknown danger. This creates a puzzle for the observer of my paintings that I hope opens up questions.

 

In the surroundings there are sometimes remainders of a town or industrial area usually within in a desolate rural context, that feels anonymous. Communication is acted out by the inhabitants, but it appears ineffective creating a feeling of abandoned loneliness. The work oscillates between the comic and the tragic. It suggests meaning whilst at the same time thwarting attempts to rationalize the circumstances depicted or suggest a message.

 

I also have some paintings where the place becomes the subject. Some will have landscape, some in an industrial area. Inspired by my new direction towards urban post-apocalyptic landscapes.

 

I am interested in trying to synthesise some of the traditional values of painting with contemporary ideas. My painting is inspired by classical artists like Pieter Bruegel, Hieronymus Bosch and Caspar David Friedrich. I admire and aim to achieve their high level of craft, technical skills, draughtsmanship and use of colour.

I am even inspired by George Grosz and contemporary artists like Neo Rauch and George Shaw. I also want the painting to be a reflection of my own contemporary anxiety about the environment associated with a post-apocalyptic vision of the future. As portrayed in films like The Road or Mad Max.

 

 

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?2019 Michael V姳ten  |  vagsten.m@gmail.com
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