Stefaan Vermuyten’s unique and idiosyncratic oeuvre is difficult to categorize within the world of contemporary painting. His work is a peculiar patchwork of found images, a catalogue of situations, a collection of suprising representations of banale or incongruous realities and phenomena. Vermuyten succeeds to sublimate our infinite struggle with the complexity of the world, without becoming explanatory or mimetic.
The beautiful charm that lays in his images has an illusionistic and absurd undertone reminiscent of the dark and tragi-comic work of Samuel Beckett. In the supposed banality of his visual language lies a raunchy existential reality, not a cheesy attempt to evoke compassion or empathy, but a genuine disrupting anxiousness about the human condition. Through the use of humour, imaginative language and bold courage, Vermuyten continuously finds a way to surprise the spectator, as well as himself.
This monography is published on the occasion of Vermuyten’s solo-exhibition in the summer of 2021 at De Markten (Brussels), curated by Luk Lambrecht, in a scenography by Guy Rombouts.