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SOPHIE KUIJKEN

Born in 1965 in Bruges and a graduate of the Ghent Academy of Fine Arts (K.A.S.K.), Sophie Kuijken paints strange and fascinating portraits in the solitude of her studio in Leuven. Portraits whose strangeness is consciously accentuated by the classicism of the workmanship (of an almost polished realism) and the poses adopted by the models: generally frontal portraits in bust form (sometimes full-length, sometimes elongated), using academic “devices,” right up to the dark backgrounds, projecting the figure onto the front of the canvas – terribly visible and pregnant moving backgrounds casting a shadow of nothingness… Strange swampy mists where a swarthy man in a coral tracksuit is lying down (in front of a screen?) with a calf, there; a baby with bulging eyes floating in a golden gigoteuse as long as a train, there; a couple lying head to toe, here; a man parading in a pelisse… Painted in the manner of the Flemish Primitives by a successive accumulation of thin layers of acrylic paint, oil, and glaze, the characters who look at us, impassive, have something timeless and, at the same time, very contemporary; bathed in a mysterious chiaroscuro chiseling their strange physiognomies, they seem to us nevertheless familiar. And for good reason: they are the result of an accumulation of multiple identities, faces collected on the internet and then superimposed to create artificial faces, devoid of identity. Vertiginous ghosts…

https://www.nathalieobadia.com/fr/events/109/overview/

Exhibition from 8 SEPTEMBER – 15 OCTOBER 2022
Nathalie Obadia Gallery 

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