Caldwell Snyder is pleased to announce the artist reception for Rik van Iersel, celebrating his exhibition of new mixed media paintings. A truly eccentric artist and musician, van Iersel’s personality is no less unique than his wildly expressive new work.
Van Iersel was introduced to the visual arts at the age of 15, when he began producing posters for De Effenaar, a Pop music venue in the Netherlands. A son of two visual artists, he found his calling early in life. His connection to music was also no coincidence, but an early passion that grew over time. To this day, he is heavily engaged in the Netherlands’ underground music scene. An artist who interacts with the world through his hands, van Iersel works as a drummer and has a wide following in the region. His artistic success, however, has been international, reaching audiences around Europe and the United States.
With fearless brushwork and an explosive palette, van Iersel fuses traditions of Expressionism, Symbolism and Pop art into paintings of profound psychological depth and visual complexity. In his recent series, his self-described “scribbles” encompass bizarre figures, comic book characters, doodles of cities, and text, woven together in an abstract frenzy reminiscent of graffiti. He credits cartoon and animation artists such as Crumb and the early Mickeys, as well as comic artist Will Eisner, as inspiration for his illustrative designs. Another unexpected influence is the work of Jackson Pollock, whose spontaneity and vital energy can be found in van Iersel’s approach to the canvas. Although inspired by popular art movements, van Iersel’s self-taught aesthetic occupies a category all its own.
Among the new work, one encounters an intimate puzzle, each piece so vastly different from the next; bound together by their shared peculiarity, bold colors and endless layers of work. Using film projections to manipulate his material, van Iersel draws and paints images blown up, sized down, fragmented and constrained. On one hand, Van Iersel’s marks seem compulsive, almost erratic; on the other, they are nearly childlike in their earnestness and honesty. This dichotomy marks the artist’s keen sensitivity to the complications of the human condition. Ultimately, his hand has a life of its own, leaving the light and dark of projections in its wake.
Rik van Iersel has exhibited at numerous museums, galleries and international art fairs, including the Galerie Peter Borchardt, University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, Germany; Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo, The Netherlands, and MU Art foundation, Eindhoven. He was born in 1961 in Maastricht and lives and works in the Netherlands.
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