Ah, the Northern Renaissance — a time where tie dye was ubiquitous and one could smell incense wafting through the air as Fleetwood Mac played in the background. Kidding. This strange cross-section of universes exists perhaps only in the wildest dreams of New York-based painter Christian rex Van Minnen (featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 25). His latest body of work is a strange hodgepodge of Renaissance-style portraiture and vanitas, references to the Summer of Love and, of course, his specialty: the believable portrayal of disfigurements, scars and bulbous tissues that simultaneously repulse and captivate his viewers.
Van Minnen masterfully renders textures in his glossy oil paintings on panel. He paints rainbow, tie-dyed flesh, cartoon eyes growing out of mangled, life-like faces and odd mash-ups of body parts with such detail, one gets the urge to reach out and touch his characters — or perhaps run away as quickly as possible, if you are a more squeamish viewer. His latest show “Glazed and Confused” opens at Copenhagen’s Gallery Poulsen tomorrow, May 9, and includes a new series of paintings and monotypes.