• Klaas Op De Beéck (°1990, BE)

    from 06/06/2024 to 29/06/2024

What you do to feel better

Klaas Op De Beéck °1990 creates a world of slowness and involvement.

In times of mass media and digital communication, he consciously opts for the slowness and sensitivity of painting. As a counterbalance to a rapidly evolving visual culture that, through social media, is increasingly happening through the eye of the lens, the painter creates space and time for genuine togetherness. The work is an autobiographical approach to everyday life in which he explores the importance of interpersonal connection.

The studio functions as a meeting place where time with friends and loved ones results in a painting. Within the isolated and heterotopic environment of the studio, intimacy, connection and identity are explored. What does it mean to spend unmediated time together and how do the models deal with this context? Do they engage in a direct confrontation with the painter or flee into scrolling on their smartphones, listening to an e-book or working on their laptops? In this way, the subject’s choices regarding posture, actions and clothing contribute to the mood of the work and to the representation of a zeitgeist.

While painting, he analyses the model and searches for the essence of this person. The models do not form a glorified still life but depict a cherished connection. It is a slowed-down moment where there is an interaction between talking, listening and silence. An escape from the outside world where the mutual connection is put on the foreground and its value in the painter’s life is reflected upon.

The aim is not an idealised representation but an authentic translation of vulnerability and sincerity, a human being of flesh and blood with feelings, thoughts and worries. During this shared time between painter and model, he probes the canvas with his brush. He often consciously leaves this searching, this passing of time visible. Time thus translates into open canvas, not hiding the drawing, making corrections and painting new layers.

The work is a representation of a personal lifestyle and a contemplation of contemporaries in today’s society.