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Bas Schippers

Contrast is the overarching factor in all that I do in my practice. It manifests in subject matter as well as technique. Through painting I analyze how things relate to one another; ideas and concepts in my head as well as brushstrokes and visual elements in a painting.
Painting for me always came from a place of inner conflict. As a child I could never really relate to my peers. Like there was a code of conduct that was the norm to everybody but I didn’t get the memo. I felt rejected for being sensitive, this contributed to my desire to be physically imposing to compensate for my softness on the inside. This muscle-suit that I’m wearing feels like a role, almost like reverse drag. I try to observe from in- as well as outside of this suit.
A lot of my inspiration comes from classical painting and sculpture. How a lone hero is lit and displayed in a mostly desolate landscape in the depictions of Hercules by Francisco de Zurbarán. A softly painted sky in an English landscape or idealized muscular bodies carved from marble in ancient Greek statues. These influences are integrated into my visual language where they form relationships with earlier collected imagery, all with their own symbolic significance. Humor is important, classical images are brought to the present in a witty way. A two-man horse costume with bare human legs that somewhat resembles a Trojan horse.

Horses function as the perfect vehicles in my work for a multitude of stories and emotions. To me they are the perfect balance between hard and soft, masculine and feminine. This shows in their strength and grace as well as the associations with the horse in general (Horse girls, every major battle in history up until the 20th century). In a way I aspire to be, like the horse, in balance as well.

The topics that I cover in my work have been a part of art and culture for so long they might be considered clichés. I do not avoid using them though, un-ironic horse portraits being shown together with lone action figure-esque characters create an ambiguous energy, they balance each other out and provide context for one another. This cliché treatment of images is a strategy to research my own insecurities. By externalizing my inner conflicts I make them visible and try to find logic behind it.

  • Pegasus fight
    Pegasus fight
    Acryl op MDF
  • Carried away
    Carried away
    Acryl en kleurpotlood op MDF
  • Deity
    Acryl op MDF