Moniker Art Fair is just around the corner and is going to be buzzing. Located at the Truman Brewery. Moniker will be showing some big hitting names. Coates and Scarry will be exhibiting some great new paintings by Christian Rex van Minnen so we caught up with him to find out more about what makes him tick and how he manages to paint those classic pop still lives and portraits....
You’re exhibiting with Coates & Scarry at Moniker Art Fair. Tell us a bit about the work you’ll be showing.
I'll be showing a couple of portraits and still-lifes that continue to explore my general confusion, polarised emotions and aesthetics and impulsive behavior. Porn, fuckin society maaaaaaan, apathy and gooey balls are themes.
Tell us about your artistic path, from childhood to the present day.
I started drawing early on, began painting in oils in High School and never stopped. [My work] has always served as a refuge to reflect on difficult emotions and to get some peace.
Can you tell us about the titles you give your works? How important is it to set the tone this way?
Yeah. I am kind of impulsive. I also like the absurd sensibility. I make them up when I'm saving the digital files onto my computer.
Do you have a favourite work, and, if so, why?
'FTW-Wear': I think it's pretty funny and awful. It reminds me of the feeling of needing to advocate on behalf of the entire world's problems, or perhaps just what the Yahoo news aggregator says is important, in a frantic and zealous sort of way. It's sad and frightening and painful and sort of funny. Funny-bone funny.
Can you tell us a little about the materials you use, and why?
Oil paint on different supports depending on scale: Arches oil paper is a nice new support I've been experimenting with for smaller works. I also use linen and panel with oil ground.
You’ve been working as an artist for many years. What advice would you give to younger artists just starting out?
Well, I've only been doing this professionally for 7 years so i don't think I've gone far enough to have any retrospection of value. I've made a lot of mistakes, too. I suppose the old clichés are all proving true: follow your bliss; to thine own self be true; work hard; just say no; try not to come first; sweep the leg; ftw; easy does it; and perhaps the most important, be wary of other's advice.
Your work expresses an interesting juxtaposition between conventional composition and surrealist subjects. How and when did you hit on this combination?
Seemed natural to me to assimilate all things visual into my work; I want to be able to explore everything visual in the context of Old Masters' dynamic colour-mixing / luminosity principle. In addition to flora and fauna there is also now man-made and the abstract to draw from. A contemporary chimera is a complex thing.
What has been the highlight of your career and why?
Moving to New York. I feel like I'm part of a community here, and that's a nice feeling. Also, one time Guillermo del Toro bought one of my paintings, that was cool.
What’s next for Christian Rex van Minnen?
Solo show coming up at Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen in April 2014!! Stay up on new work at www.christianvanminnen.com.
Interview by Lottie Storey at http://www.lottiestorey.co.uk