X marks the spot
At first glance the work of Mark Beerens appears accessible, but upon further examination a multiplicity of layers is evident. This layeredness can not only be seen literally in his paintings but also in the basic premises from which he works.
The connecting thread here is the urge to create a synthesis between different eras and movements. Mark Beerens takes his inspiration both from history and art history, and today’s constant stream of images.
“I see myself as a kind of link between the world as it was then and as it is now; I investigate the contexts of old and new techniques and try to connect them.”
With this combination of old and contemporary techniques, Mark Beerens creates a new visual idiom. For example, elements from the ‘Flemish Primitives’ such as geometry and layered coloration gain new overtones through the presence of modern clothing or surroundings, or the significance of a subdued form is changed due to a thick stroke of paint. Whereas in one painting the use of these various techniques is clearly recognizable, in another they are so interwoven that it takes time to discover them.
“In my mind they often already become transposed into something new. I think this comes from an inner desire to not impose any boundaries upon myself. This enables me to react to the images that come into my mind, mix them and change them into a new image.”
A recurring theme in his work is elements of Holy Geometry, such as the Golden Section and the Fibonacci series; here Beerens is trying to make clear that people have never lost their predilection for aesthetics and that these geometries are still actively present in society to this day.
“Harmonious proportions such as the Golden Section can still be found in modern visual culture. What’s more, I think that today’s enormous flood of images has led people to have an even greater desire for these proportions.”
With Mark Beerens, the creative process takes place not in a sketchbook but in his head. Eventually he will make a sketch on the computer. There, he can measure things and go into details. Although his work appears to be extremely conceptual and thought-out, everything can change during the working process. From the moment he sets up a painting until the last brush stroke, colours, facial expressions, folds and forms can be removed or added. In essence, nothing is certain.