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Michaël Borremans. Red hand, green hand. 2011

Michaël Borremans in Helsinki 0

Michaël Borremans
Kunsthalle Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland
August 20 – October 9

From August 20 to October 9, the ambitious art party Helsinki Festival will be held in Finland's capital city of Helsinki. During the festival, Kunsthalle Helsinki is hosting a solo exhibit featuring the works of Belgium's inspiration to contemporary art, the artist Michaël Borremans (1963).

Michaël Borremans' filigreed and virtuoso manner of painting casts a spell of mystery, even anxious tension, onto the canvas. The peculiar, or more directly, strange union of elements in the work of the eccentric artist creates a melancholic, at times ambiguous, resonance of vibration in the room. Creating the elements in a believably accomplished manner, the painter embodies strange and often deformed figures in his work, but with the surprising precision of a cool mind.

Painting from photographs, the artist confirms that the human figure is highly valued in his work, however, its soul and essence have become trivial, in this way negating the classic form of dialog between the physical model, the portrait and the audience. As the artist himself says: “My paintings don't portray individuals, they are only types and stereotypes in two-dimensional images. Human beings with their symbolic traits are just like the pieces in a game of chess – they have been assigned an individual role to stand for something.” This sort of aesthetic makes a work contemporary, or more precisely, continually current, by not framing it in a certain decade, political period or the facial features of a specific person.

Lying somewhere between emotional romanticism, faithfulness to the classic composition of realism, and the assimilation of various other directions in art, in the art world, Michaël Borremans has been deemed a sort of skeptic of romanticism.

The form of Michaël Borremans' work and its state in the room awakens in viewers a preconceived idea about the genre of portaits and sculpture, and encourages one to look for signs of questions and answers in the composition's visual message and technical execution. However, by deflecting any preconceived notions about portaiture, the artist has made codification of the image's story practically impossible for mass interpretation.

The unfamiliar aspect of his art goes step in step with the era in which the synthesis of various “isms” has created conceptual hybrids not only in the realm of sculpture, but in that of painting as well. Disclaiming any idioms of artistic religion, but not rejecting them completely, Boremans has created an aesthetic and commercial asset – the testimony of a radical and revolutionary era and a time line's etherreal crossing over into art.

Michaël Borremans

Nervanderinkatu 3
Helsinki, Finland