Rinus Van de Velde. Now I am the night of nights
Large-format charcoal drawings are often the medium of choice for Rinus Van de Velde (1983 in Leuven, Belgium). Very often he appears as the protagonist in his works: be it as an artistic alter ego or after the role model of existing persons; Van de Velde moulds characters who travel, explore, and search—for their own self, a new inspiration, but sometimes just for the next gas station and a pack of cigarettes.
Almost automatically his pictures form narratives in the viewer’s mind. They seem to be scenes from an elaborated storyboard that could serve as the basis for a film. But Van de Velde is turning the storyboard principle upside down. All of his drawings are derived from collected image material from various sources: newspapers, magazines, the Internet. He also produces some of those materials himself. In his Antwerp studio he constructs space-filling sets in which he and his friends are the actors for his stories.
Currently Van de Velde is working on his first film project. The exhibition Now I am the night of nights in Kunstpalais provides an exclusive insight into the narration of this film which forms the newest groundwork for the artist’s drawings. A man lies on the bed of his hotel room, half asleep he sees images appearing before his eyes. In sinks into strange memories in which daydream and nightmare are closely connected. As it is typical for Van de Velde, the large canvases which are always accompanied by texts immediately draw their viewers into his story. Playfully he interweaves subtle hints to our visual cultural heritage with direct quotations of art history.
Van de Velde already attained international success and is long since a star of the Belgian art scene. He refers to his artistic work as a whole, long story. For Erlangen and his solo show in Kunstpalais he wrote its next chapter—with new works and a new main character.
Image: Seemingly quiet, still half awake, ..., 2018, charcoal on canvas, artist frame, 105 × 200 cm, Courtesy KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin/London