Jan Van Imschoot

° 1963

Lives in Ghent (BE), born in Ghent (BE).

Jan Van Imschoot (b. 1963) belongs to the Belgian generation of artists who continue a purified pictorial tradition, and can therefore be seen in conjunction with artists such as Luc Tuymans himself, Thierry De Cordier or Michaël Borremans. However diverse their styles and themes may be, their oeuvre is characterised by a similar artisanal preoccupation with the continuance of the métier of the old classical masters in a contemporary manner. In Jan Van Imschoot's case this does not occur without controversy, especially thematically. Every work is an accumulation of mockery, corruption and teeth grinding. His oeuvre can best be described as ‘contemporary baroque with a good dose of anarchy’. Van Imschoot brushes wild portraits and shots of busy interiors, with an alternatingly mocking, challenging or scabrous touch. The visual richness of his canvases refers both to current events and to world literature, while the ambiguity of his titles shows how well-read the artist is. The artist therefore also wants his work to be read in a literary sense, so that the painted image may offer a deeper insight into the human existence, full of contradictory feelings and internal conflicts. The works are infused with fascinating reminiscences and cross references to known traditions: the intensity of Tintoretto, the mockery of Ensor, the colour palette of Van Gogh, the busts of Goya..., but expressed through the contrarian state of mind of the artist in the present.

Text: Hans Willemse
Translations: Michael Meert

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