The work of Rinus Van de Velde (b. 1983 Leuven; lives and works in Antwerp) could be seen as an extensive attempt to engage existing images and stories in a mythologized (artist) biography that consists of drawings and narrative texts. Initially, he mainly sought inspiration for this in an archive of found images, which he used as source material for pencil and charcoal drawings on paper. For his recent, more monumental and ‘painterly’ charcoal drawings on canvas he primarily starts from self-shot, staged photographs that refer to diverse iconographical traditions.
This way of working yields stylized, often explicitly posed snapshots of a pseudoheroic story set in a parallel universe in which the artist is able to start a new life—a different artistic practice—over and over again. Behind this strategy lies a desire to step into the image, possibly even disappear into it. That is, by constantly staging his artistic practice, Van de Velde tries to undo the difference between life and work; or rather, he tries to live in his work—or more literally, his studio. There he—and in his slipstream the spectator—can, after all, move freely through an endless imaginary universe and identify with all possible alter egos (artists, evidently, but also other ‘heroes,’ like musicians, sportsmen, scientists). In continuously adding images as well as 'imagoes' to his visually strongly recognizable mythology, one could say that Van de Velde, by making drawings that have a strong own signature, paradoxically tries to become a ‘total artist’ that incorporates all possible artists.
Last updated: 05.03.2015