more than

Christian Van Minnen “Great Western Buffet” 2012, oil on canvas

I found myself stunned and captivated by this new work by Christian van Minnen, a painter who I met a while back when he still lived in Seattle and was part of a drawing event with me. He was also included in the still life show that I gushed over a couple years ago. Maybe his work strikes you first as grotesque, maybe first as beautifully painted, but I wonder if, along with me, you are held in a delicate balance between being repulsed and attracted. I think CvM strikes that balance more successfully than most artists who tread this territory. And there are plenty of additional details to round out the mental landscape– flags and cartoonish beaks, the smoke that makes me simultaneously sigh with autumnal daydreams, marvel at the painter’s magic with texture, and become eerily aware of roasted meat’s living-animal precedent. (Click image for a larger view)


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