KETELEER GALLERY is very pleased to introduce 'Very Important Friends', a solo exhibition by Floris Van Look (°1990. Wilrijk, Antwerp). After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ghent University in 2012, Floris wanted to explore alternative directions. He tried his hand at architecture but eventually decided to go and study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp. Floris quickly felt at home in the academy which offered a somewhat traditional education. Since graduating in 2018 Floris focused on figurative painting and managed to develop his own visual language. Floris usually lets his mind converse with the life he encounters on the streets, but last year’s enforced seclusion allowed him to look at his surroundings differently and to bring them – and the literature he immerses himself in – to life in a completely new series of oil and putty paintings.
Floris’ works are extremely tactile, the surface is built up of very thick layers, voluptuous blobs even, of paint. Bordering a sculpture, some works are made almost entirely out of putty, an ‘outdated’ way to offer a 3D-experience. In the past people made diorama’s, pop-up books and later movies to bring stories to life, but since time immemorial, man has never not tried to turn the figments of his imagination into reality: statues of gods, churches as houses for the gods, music, theatre… all meant to make stories more tangible and thus more ‘real’. Virtual Reality is the latest development trying to meet this desire but its ambition is perhaps not that much more extreme than that of a cathedral. They both seek to create an immersive experience of a world beyond ours. The biggest difference resides in the fact that the space created is becoming more and more intangible, is paradoxically being dematerialised to feel even more real. Floris prefers to stick to old techniques and classical references but still succeeds wonderfully in inspiring our ‘hypermodern’ minds to fantasy.
Artists: Floris Van Look