Kristof Van Heeschvelde: Serieus Grappig
Nicole Büsing, Heiko Klaas
Hopper & Fuchs, 2023
“A clean atelier is not to be trusted!”
Van Heeschvelde is first and foremost a passionate painter and sketch artist who spends most of his time in his studio. He takes subjects for his paintings from two basically infinite reservoirs: on the one hand, his own, astute observations of everyday human life: evryday events, human idiosyncrasies, social phenomena, questionable norms and values, which he often treats with humour, subtle mockery and deliberate disregard. He is particularly interested in the inclusion and exclusion principles of a highly academicised art business, which he registers with great sensitivity as a career changer. Last but not least, selfportraits with an ironic charge also play a major role in his artistic universe. The second large reservoir of images that Van Heeschvelde taps into again and again is that of ‘serious’ art history, namely the late Middle Ages and the Baroque. He benefits from the sheer omnipresence of top-class works in the museums, churches and cathedrals of his home region of Flanders, by masters sych as Jan van Eyck (1390-1441) or Peter-Paul Rubens (1577-1640), to mention only the two most important. The adaptation of already existing, generally known pictures or elements of them is one of the basic constants of his painting. But more on that later.