Bart van Leeuwen*

04.06.2012 in12:21 in Art, Design -->


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Bart van Leeuwen’s hyper-surreal images bring forth a self-prescribed version on problems in our world’s reality. Placing fictive and/or non-fictive characters in a historical and/or futuristic context, Bart’s illustrations are sometimes difficult to grasp, provoking and frequently packed with a heavy punch. This doesn’t go to say that his illustrations aren’t comedic or contain a thousand words, as they surely do. All of this creates certainty that the viewers of Bart’s work often have ambivalent feelings after their first confrontation with his illustrations. That is precisely what Bart van Leeuwen tries to achieve with his illustrative work: “Life is all about contrast. It’s the opposites that give life its delightful flavor; without evil there’s no good; without hate there’s no love; without death, no life. A good illustration should contain a certain contrary quality,” thus Bart. “It forces the frog to think.” Through this daring approach, the illustrations of Bart van Leeuwen obtain an interpretable character, one that preludes on the mind and soul. Life is relative, or so Bart believes. Besides, depicting an inflexible viewpoint is quite uninteresting and according to Bart, impossible: “Everything has been anticipated. The only “interesting” subject is the inner-self, the ego, as that is completely unique.” Instead of making an impression from the outside, Bart van Leeuwen allows himself to be inspired by his emotions that in turn allow him to give form to them by reflecting them on our delirious society. Despite the alarming reality of his work, you continue to guess at the actual facts of his illustrations. It is up to the viewer to fill in those missing links.