[v. 2008, English]

REIN-ART (Arne Reynaert)

°Belgium 1966
Lives and works in Leuven, Belgium; since 1990 as independent full-time artist, illustrator, graphic designer and poet and since 2008 as part-time teacher at the academy for fine arts in Leuven.
He studied painting at the academy of Leuven and applied graphic arts at the high school for fine arts Sint Lukas Brussels (great distinction). His career took a fast start with a nomination for the Peace Poster Design Prize of the United Nations Organisation in New York (1988, one year before he even finished his studies). More prizes and nominations followed, as well for his commercial work as for his distinctive contemporary figurative painting. Since 2004 he spends more time on his intriguing painting than on commercial work - with interesting exhibitions as a result. Selling well, he can continue to research and explore his painting without compromise.
As a painter, he carefully looks for very personal and sensitive poses people take spontaneously as individuals, in relation to others or towards their environment. He will photographically catch them, often isolate them to finally re-release them in the new universe of the canvas. The depicted individuals look realistic and will dissolve into the background noise at the same time, symbol for our individual imprisonment in the present - that physically (and scientifically) undefined moment between the past and the future. Not only time is relative: the artist will also question and unravel the most common concepts we use in our so called conscious (modern) life, which is mostly restricted to the resolution of our senses, the capacity of our brain and the environment we experience.

Arne Reynaert often writes his findings and reflections in the “noise” of the canvas (or apart, as lay-out elements in installations), uplifting his works of art to a parallel universe with a higher resolution and dimension than the reality they arise from. The scientific roots for the metaphors used in the paintings are not imposed on to the public, but they stay the essential inspiration for the artist. This inspiration, combined with a virtuous and ingenuous way of painting his “puppets of their own environment and time”, make the images accessible yet never superficial. Transparency and missing bits in the figures make us remember the chaotic soup of matter we are born and have grown from; the drippings refer to the fact that we - or at least our bodies - will one day dissolve back to it. The drippings might suggest a certain sadness too: namely the facts that we are perishable, that we are locked up in the present and in our selfish consciousness, that we can not halt time, that we can never completely connect to our relatives or environment, and that the more we think to understand of the world the more we get in contact with what we don’t know or understand of it. But the message of the artist doesn’t end here, in sadness. To the contrary, he proclaims the acceptance of infinity, the possibility of the existence of (an infinite number of) parallel universes and dimensions in physics. The artist can laugh at our rather stupid pride and vulnerability and at the same time respect the whole of nature. He sees the (a) Universe as a living thing, be it (one) with a different consciousness. It is from this somehow alien perspective he spies on humans, without losing poetry in his work - knowing he is only human himself. In spite of his spirituality, his paintings are not misty, craven, cliche or creepy. To the contrary, the artist succeeds to set down an immense down-to-earth feeling. He applies the ultimate metaphor - the cycle of birth and death (of whatever exists), evolution in all its possible dimensions - in his work: with elegancy, almost elitist, he pulverizes the illusion the elitist himself. He turns the torment of life in to a feast, at least in his art.