Bastiaan van Stenis
Bastiaan van Stenis was born in 1981 in Cape Town, South Africa.
van Stenis’ art is captivatingly unique. His style commands the viewer’s attention, and his subject matter absorbs their interest. The figures that are presented both explode from, and dissolve into, the creamy peach oranges, mint greens and Naples yellows that have become a central part of his style.
The serenity of these backgrounds contrasts the figures and scenarios that are depicted upon them. van Stenis’ art, inspired by the surroundings that he exists within, is saturated with layers of mixed media. The use of alternative mediums in the works themselves, takes the idea that we are a conglomeration of the influences that define us further. The masterful manner in which he weaves his mediums together becomes significant, and it represents the stitching together of the self in a dreamlike portrayal of reality. The worlds that van Stenis creates develop with time – small details move to the fore in the viewer’s appreciation of the work.
The childlike brutality of the works evoke a deeply personal understanding of the works for the viewer. They become a personal narrative of growing up and surviving as an individual in the complexities of social codes, expectations and definitions of being. van Stenis challenges this as he depicts seemingly mundane moments with a feelings of simultaneously imploding and exploding – we become what we gather and experience. We carry memories like marks that define us. We collect emotions and they shape our form. Our permanence is found with the smears that share chosen identities. We embrace the classicism of artistry, the modernity of texture, the protest of neo-expressionism and the possibility of more in this style that lies beyond definition.
van Stenis currently works and resides in Hermanus, South Africa.
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