Rinus Van de Velde
Gallery Baton is pleased to announce the second solo exhibition of Rinus Van de Velde (b. 1983) from 5th October to 5th November 2022. In this exhibition, he reveals drawings in oil pastel, a medium he is recently fascinated by due to its flexibility to show diverse and dramatic expressions. La Ruta Natural, a single-channel video (13min 34sec) filmed during the pandemic, is shown at the gallery. The exhibition enables us to explore further into circular narratives in virtual, actual and parallel universes by the artist.
Van de Velde’s observation that people incline to trust images easily without a doubt is one of the significant factors in understanding his practice. While working on films, he found that a simple filming trick appears convincing in the final version as it reflects his assumption that the gap between reality and fiction is not wider than expected and does not have a clear boundary. Since his charcoal painting series, he has employed the ‘combination of upper image and lower text’ format widely used in newspapers and media when an image closely depicts a specific event. Even after television became the major visual media to report, this layout has been accepted uncritically through TV news format. Van de Velde plants this style in his work and lets it play a role like a Trojan horse, which confuses viewers to believe that his creation is an actual incident.
Instagram, which has become a window to see the world, delivers millions of images and short messages everyday in an identical layout. Images we want to show others, which could make others desire my life, can be explained by the principles of the parallel universe that Van de Velde refers to. As a staged photo only captures the very moment of life and does not reflect someone’s life entirely, the artist's hypothesis suggests that there may be another person who experienced such moments every day. Introduced in his first solo exhibition, Most of the time during the day… (2018) is a 6-meter-wide charcoal painting depicting a moment where a person, whose appearance is similar to the artist, is immersed in investment analysis in the basement trading room. However, with texts—raising money by day-trading to fund the art he produced at night—placed far below, it gives a confusing message to those who know the artist’s neat appearance.
Van de Velde is aware of a potential of the “text”, though the texts are not as visually appealing as the images occupying most part of his work. Gillian Wearing (b. 1963) delivered the uncanny gap and tension in a photo of a young businessman smiling with a piece of paper saying "I’m Desperate", while the sentence from Van de Velde operates as a monologue adding a calm, contemplative mood in the image. Most of the sentences, written in the first person perspective combined with a figure preoccupied in something or a landscape, give an illusion that seems to be the autobiographical narrative of the artist. Especially in his new oil pastel drawings, vibrant colors casually sprinkled over texts relax the boundaries between images and text and raise fascinating uncertainty in reading them.
Rinus Van de Velde lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. He received his master degrees at Sint Lucas Antwerpen in 2006 and at HISK (Hoger Instituut Voor Schone Kunsten - Vlaanderen) in 2010. He has held solo exhibitions at numerous prestigious museums such BOZAR (2022) in Brussels, Kunstmuseum Luzern (2021) in Luzern, Frac des Pays de la Loire (2021) in Nantes, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga (2020). His works are in the collections including S.M.A.K., Belfius Art Collection, Royal museum of Fine Arts in Belgium, Kunstmuseum Den Haag and Museum Voorlinden in Netherlands and CAC Málaga in Spain.