Joram Roukes surrealist mashups of various images are like a painted collage with fantastic and deft painting skills. Very strong, expressionist portraits of the human beast within. Part animal, part human and part object – skewed and torn, with added extra limbs or consumer commodities. Traces of the McDonalds clown and Mickey Mouse can be found, juxtaposed with an angry bear or a solemn bird. He currently works from his studio in Groningen, the Netherlands.
LINK – Joram’s Website
You’ve spent time in Groningen and New York, how has each different place effected you? How has your art changed as a result of each experience?
Groningen is my hometown. It’s a quiet, relatively small city with friendly people in the North part of the Netherlands. The rent here is reasonably affordable as opposed to cities like Amsterdam, so that allows me to work on my artwork fulltime without having to do shitty jobs on the side. In regards to my work, Groningen itself isn’t the most inspiring of all places. However, my work often refers to the kind of banal excesses of modern society, which is well present in our small country and community. Be it in a much more futile way than say New York City. But the folky and often narrow-minded way many people tend to behave here in the Netherlands is something I find both fascinating and inspiring. Having worked in New York for sometime however put me right in the middle of excessive society. I like these little western phenomena that seem to get taken for granted and go unnoticed. Especially in places like that where nobody seems to be aware of how irrational this urge for everything big and over the top actually is. There are tons of themes to be drawn from that and even more ways to work with them. - An Empty Kingdom interview
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