SEBASTIAAN VAN DONINCK
“I strive to evoke an apparent gaiety or painful lightheartedness in a grotesque, artificial and theatrical, improvised and messy world.”
Over the past 15 years, as a draftsman and author, I have been exploring the visual and narrative boundaries within the illustrative field. Always looking for a personal and fictional world within an applied context, often hand in hand with literature or poetry. Themes such as loneliness, folktales and folklore, wanderlust and bewildering nature often popped up and ended up on my work table. The pictures visually claimed a dominant role and propelled the picture books through subtle humor. When making illustrations for magazines I mainly worked with surrealistic combinations to visualize a point of view or criticism. Concrete examples of this could be a teddy bear with a Kalashnikov in a tanker or Hansel and Gretel who are locked up in a bank as a ‘gingerbread house’. Consciously looking for the tension between recognizability and confusion, I wanted to raise questions with this rather than literally answering or translating them visually.
Through experiment, technical variation and different contexts, I was able to broaden my field of work as an image maker during the first years and more recently channeled this into an autonomous practice as an artistic draftsman and painter.
Oil paintings, black and white ink drawings and colourful watercolours are part of the visual
research field in my studio. I strive to evoke an apparent gaiety or painful light-heartedness in a grotesque, artificial and theatrical, improvised and messy world. A ‘canvas’ inhabited by errant figures who seem to be detached from their surroundings and whose purpose is not clearly defined. The introverted, archaic figures often wear folkloric or clownish attributes as weapons
for their futile lives. Dreamy, anthropomorphic figures who seem to be looking for connection, isolated in an uncertain and alienating, uncanny world.