Christian Rex Van Minnen: Rainbow Blight – New Paintings
Christian Rex Van Minnen paints using a technique similar to “automatic writing” in which he allows the composition and its component forms to emerge from the subconscious. These works are reminiscent of 19th century portraits and Romantic landscape scenes, but they also have a powerful contemporary edge, which makes them unmistakably 21st century works. In these paintings, organic matter becomes portraiture as proxy; figuration without a pose or a human subject.
Pearburst, Oil on Canvas , 11 x 14", 2010
Artist statement, courtesy of Christian Rex Van Minnen & Bert Green Fine Art
I’ve always been fascinated with anatomy and physiology as well as biology and other natural sciences. There is something about looking at plants and animals in a field guide, alone on a white page, out of their environment that gives them a distinctly human quality. this is where I am finding mystery. In my process, I like to create a kind of mess of an underpainting, a primordial soup of paint and information that I can see things in and pull form from. A lot of the time, this results in bio-morphic images and sometimes representational images. I have recently been utilizing this technique within the language of portraiture, creating a portrait without a sitter. I think that because they incorporate these basic elements of portraiture, we want to see a face to complete the sentence or the dialogue. by not having the eye contact or immediately recognizable facial features the viewer is left to fill in the blanks, often with aspects of ourselves. There is no symbolism here.
I suppose I have always been attracted to the grotesque because there is a truth and beauty that is inseparable from what is immediately unpleasant. Our lives are filled with such unpleasant beauties and opportunities to make light of dark.
To read an interview between Christian Rex Van Minnen & Jon Beinart, Click here
My Love for You, Oil on Canvas, 28 x 22”, 2010
Pear with Stars, Oil on Canvas , 11 x 14", 2010
Marketplace, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 36”, 2010
Still Life 1.6, Oil on Canvas, 23.5 x 20”, 2010