Artist Christian van Minnen‘s solo show Rainbow Blight, opening May 12th at L.A.’s Bert Green Fine Art shows the artist taking an exuberant hard-left by mixing up his chimeric style of painting (ie., the cluster of grapey pustuals in his painting Uvas) with the clean RGB flat graphic lines of a rainbow. A beautiful yet playful contrast. Christian’s mode of thinking is always quite unique so of course we are aware by now that what we see here isn’t merely a contrast of the grotesque with empty halcyon graphics though it is a beautiful and playful combination nonetheless. “It is definitely a leap,” says Christian.
“No doubt about that, but it had to be done. I started thinking about portraiture and still-life as a sort of marketing technique unto itself, used by people throughout history to crystalize the values, virtues and morals, etc of their time, often through explicity symbolic imagery. I like to think of these painting conventions as a sort of trojan horse, or spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, good grief. The graphic elements made sense to me, both to satisfy this desire to incorporate flat, or graphic material, and also to push this concept of the grotesque or chimeric, and to explore what that is today, inclusive of both natural imagery and man-made imagery.”
“All these stars, hearts, rainbows, butterflies, etc, are ubiquitous in advertising, so much so that they near become invisible- the supporting cast to the star of the marketing campaign. In this sense these elements are both ambiguous and organic; icons of abstractions that have a distinct lifespan and rot and grow anew. Mexico had a lot of those drastic contrasts between beautiful and horrible. I started collecting old magazines and candy wrappers there and cutting out the supporting graphics for these adds, and juxtaposing them with the various flora and fauna of my paintings and it made sense.”
Pear With Stars