Richard Heller Gallery will be opening their first solo show with Christian Rex Van Minnen on Saturday, November 4th. Mourning Wood in Liminal Dawn will include a new series of oils exploring the ongoing journey through liminal space in between ideas around masculinity, sex and identity.
With indisputable talent and exceptional panting technique, van Minnen creates pictures that are filled with grotesque and unsettling imagery, yet blatantly sincere in their subject matter and atmosphere. Wrapping his skills and familiarity with technique inside classic painting formats and aesthetic, he captures the viewer’s attention in order to express his most personal inner doubts and fears. Through themes of heads and beheading, phallus and orifice, whimsy and melancholy, fluorescence and gray, penetration and erection, sex and death, power and powerlessness, he is primarily examining heterosexual male identity nowadays.
While uneasy and almost disturbing on the surface level, the paintings hide the feelings of anxiety and burden of a white male coming from a colonized state. Through his opus, van Minnen is trying to understand his personal identity and come to peace with the baggage of his past, something that’s been on his mind for a long time. Without any valuable conclusions, the work symbolizes the liminal state in which he analyzes the global condition of multi-generational paranoia of retribution. The example of this is the incorporation of comments sent in by his Instagram followers during live streaming of paintings sessions. Without any filters or restrictions, the artists is immortalizing these careless thoughts and forms of expression in a form of DIY tattoos on his bizarre characters. Intensively unsettling and almost tangibly painful, the works actually carry a certain feel of revelation for the artist himself, which is where the title of the show comes from.
Discuss Christian Rex van Minnen here.