KÖNIG GALERIE is proud to launch its second exhibition at KÖNIG TOKIO: Rinus Van de Velde’s first solo show in Japan, presenting his new, small-format colour-pencil drawings.

For many artists, painting is a means of self-exploration. Portraying aspects of themselves, they adopt telling roles and fictional identities within the scenes they depict, presenting their own alter egos. The same is true of Van de Velde, whose works present elements of himself in various roles and contexts. Citing a familiar grand motif, he’ll deflate and contradict it with a small format and laconic title; evoking great artists, he’ll integrate them or their ideas and works into his images; freezing his various scenes in time, he creates images like stills from a film.

This exploration of the self has also been an element of Van de Velde’s previous works, in which surreal characters represent facets of his own existence. These parallel existences allow the artist to construct further loops and fictions that sometimes become stage sets for ensuing meta-stories and alternative narratives. His meanderings between the real and the constructed are encapsulated in the captions of his images, which suggest possible decoding of his pictures but ultimately serve as commentaries on his own, concealed temporal or mental world. The world of unseen aspects of Van de Velde’s self is revealed through works of self-reflection and self-representation, which, rather than necessarily documenting his status as an artist, expose his character and artistic inspiration, layer by layer, producing ‘para-portraits’ of the artist observed — be it Van de Velde himself or another painter who inspired him. His playful and unconscious mind, imagination, and memory take centre stage as a factual part of the biography of an artist who describes himself as “in two states of being”, where there is very little difference between reality and fiction – “even in broad daylight”.



Rinus Van de Velde (b. 1983 in Leuven, Belgium) lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. Van de Velde has taken big steps over the recent years in the development of his oeuvre. Where at the start of his career he was best known for his large-scale charcoal drawings, he now profiles himself as a total artist, through the use of various media such as drawing, sculpture, installation, and film.

Van de Velde’s work plays with the tension between reality and fiction and creates a complex world in which documentation and fiction, reproduction, and reconstruction are inextricably linked. His works have a particularly complex layering through a ...
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