Spacejunk Bayonne: La Belle Peinture group show
Spacejunk Bayonne presents the group show La Belle Peinture (The Beautiful Painting) featuring international artists, masters of Pop Surrealism, whose works revisit old masters such as Caravaggio, those of the Dutch Golden Age and Flemish painting or Japanese print, yet through composition and narrative remain deeply relevant to our times.
In one of his iconic works, “Thunder, Perfect Mind”, Brooklyn-based artist Christian Rex van Minnen challenges beauty stereotypes by creating a grotesque image of an irremediably deformed human body. In addition to the absurdity and disharmony of the figure and form which borrow animal features, the tattoos and royal-like clothing result in a representation that is both unpleasant and humorous, appealing and repulsive, but perhaps more real and sincere than any culturally-constructed idea of beauty. The absence of the eyes and the misplaced mouth guide the viewer’s attention to discover the unexpected malformations, as well as wonder about the history and emotion behind each abnormality.
A sense of strangeness and darkness mixed with humorous narratives is also present in the work of Canadian artist Peter Ferguson, while the twisted, dynamic and intricate battle scenes of Mu Pan distance themselves from realism to embrace the alternate worlds of fantasy and the power of visual storytelling.
Inspired by the hardcore scene and influenced by the work of Renaissance painters Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, Dan Witz’s academic paintings of mosh pits amaze through the energy and movement, their almost ritualistic violence and their striking authenticity – the artist often joins the mosh pits himself and photographs the crowds from inside the action, to later use his documentation, which sometimes comprises a few hundred photographs, to meticulously capture on canvas the spirit and the chaos of this unique liberating experience of temporary coexistence.
La Belle Peinture at Spacejunk Bayonne | Highlights
Artists: Christian Rex van Minnen, Nicola Verlato, Mu Pan, Joe Sorren, Dan Witz, Shawn Barber, Turf One, Peter Ferguson, Travis Louie, Martin Wittfooth.
April 6th-May 27th, 2017
35, rue Ste Catherine
64100 Bayonne – France
Images courtesy of Spacejunk. Opening photos © David Duchon Doris.