Duck Hats & Owl Holes
We are delighted to present "Duck Hats & Owl Holes", the first solo exhibition by Geert Koekoeckx in our gallery.
In his paintings, Geert Koekoeckx unveils a wondrous universe that is as colourful as it is irresistible. It is formed from myths of various cultures, historical references and the sheer power of imagination. The arches span from references to frescoes in the palace of Knossos to the myth of Icarus, the Indian teachings of the chakras and Persian engravings that are playfully interwoven with the artist's own experiences and memories. Historicity, however, is of marginal importance. The narrative dimension is subordinate to the intuitive. Everything can, everything is permitted to get mixed up in the whirlwind of these magical worlds. Illustrations from medieval medical encyclopaedias can encounter the misunderstandings of the painter's childhood, when he thought that eating carrots would get you beautiful eyes (instead of better vision). And yet these misunderstandings also somehow close a circle in which the myths of the physiological world merge with the myths of subjective perception.
Koekoeckx’ paintings are populated by cartoonish characters of all kinds. Gentle Chimeras, sprung from apocalyptic worlds. A giraffe with antlers resembling branches. Skeletons with shouldered sausages riding on bears through an acid induced medieval landscape. Squirrels with tabby fur, too much lipstick and far too long Marsupilami tails. The creatures appear like art-historical references, revived from paintings of times when the imaginary monsters of cartographers spread fear and terror on unchartered territories of this earth, but here transformed into their playful-ironic version, marked by the ravages of time.
Olaf Pradhan & Sofie Verbrugghen, April 2023