press release

Aaron van Erp's dark passionate paintings portray intense, haunting themes, reflecting a harsh view of humanity. His works display possible scenarios of sexual atrocity and torture, as in Interview with the Assistant of a Controversial Abortion Doctor, Still Life in Wartime, Picnic of Swiss abroad, or the cruel treatment of animals, in Trainingsweekend for Reaguurders and Burning Dog at Night. The faces of perpetrator and victim are often interchangeable, their missing body parts sharply contrasting with the bright flags, helmets, football shirts, and striped trousers of other characters on the canvas. His gruesome scenes always take place in a dystopian environment, from deserted beaches to devastated, uncanny sites. Aaron, who states that painting is mostly watching, always creates a unique spatial tension, combining his open-ended narrative with an extremely individual painting technique.

Van Erp's subjects and imagery are more often inspired by literature and Old Masters than by the works of fellow contemporary artists, as demonstrated by The Surrender of Occupy Breda, where he reanimates the pictorial history of Velazquez. In his interiors and landscapes, traces of a debauched humanity abound, with its plastic bags, Coca Cola bottles or fragments of newspapers. The representation of atrocity, signaling the futility of maintaining a dichotomy between good and evil, overwhelms the spectator with a familiar sense of unease or attraction.

Aaron van Erp (born 1978) has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions and museum shows, including solo shows at GEM The Hague, Sperone Westwater New York, Museum Der Stadt Ratingen, and group shows at De Pont Tilburg, Museum Marta Herford, and other venues.

only in german

Aaron van Erp