Large-format charcoal drawings are often the medium of choice for Rinus Van de Velde (*1983 in Leuven, Belgium). Very often he appears as the protagonist in his works: be it as an artistic alter ego or after the role model of existing persons; Van de Velde moulds characters who travel, explore, and search – for their own self, a new inspiration, or sometimes just for the next gas station and a pack of cigarettes.
Almost automatically his pictures form narratives in our minds. Their aesthetics seem to mimic camera settings like figure shot and close up and by doing so let us think of a movies storyboard. At times they recall film noir sceneries in our visual memory. His drawings are, without exception, accompanied by texts – some shorter, some more extensive – that can give us an impression as if we had plunged into a larger than life-sized graphic novel. Whereas his earlier works took found photographs as a point of departure, he later started to build whole sets in his studio which served him as scenes for his pictures.As the legendary chess player Bobby Fischer he staged himself instead of the world sports champion.
Again, as the avant-garde guru Isaac Weiss he led a fictive artist colony that featured illustrious names from the canon of modern art, such as Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe and Cy Twombly, yet the artistic idyll gradually turned into madness and destruction. All of this happens in his Antwerp studio, in charcoal on canvas and always with a great fascination for charismatic and eccentric personalities as well as artistic role models from classic modernity.Van de Velde already attained international success and is long since a star of the Belgian art scene. He refers to his artistic work as a whole, long story. For Erlangen and his solo show in Kunstpalais he will write the next chapter of this story – with new works and possibly also a new role for himself.