The Beast in the Paint (Summary)

The work of Simon Schrikker is a battle between form and content, between painted matter and painted image. His subjects have an apparent simplicity: he paints stray dogs, and recently also sharks and squids. But these images are not illustrations from a book on animal life. For one thing, the images seem to struggle to emerge from the paint. In this sense, these paintings clearly identify themselves as paintings. The medium is part of the message. And since the animals that Simon paints are associated with several degrees of danger and fear, there is also a certain aggression in his images. This aggression returns in the painterly way the surface is treated. As a result of this dialectic, Simon’s work flirts with expressive abstraction: the images arise from matter but immediately seem to disappear into it again, leaving the audience to unravel what it is they are looking at. This dialectic is the engine that propels Simon’s work: what moves on the canvas is, ultimately, a painterly gesture.

Christophe Van Eecke