Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to be holding Dutch painter Gerben Mulder’s second exhibition in Brazil. In this show the artist presents figurative paintings and – for the first time – bronze sculptures. In both languages, Mulder creates a fantastic world, inhabited by imaginary creatures on the border between drama and comedy.
His characters possess distorted proportions, swollen and hallucinatingly bulging eyes. With adult faces and the bodies of children, the figures walk a thin line between innocence and perversion. Recently, Mulder’s palette has become more vibrant. The artist has gotten away from his former pastel hues and is working with strong colors including dark blues and intense reds as well as vivid yellows and greens. This abundance of colors contrasts with the complex themes that Mulder deals with. In the canvas Courtesans, a profusion of colors highlights dozens of hearts surrounding two eroticized courtesans. In Dutch Girl, a strange girl dressed in typical Dutch clothing and sitting on green grass stares fixedly at the viewer, while On the Beach, the most sober painting in the exhibition, depicts a nude female figure lying on a sunset-lit beach.
His sculptures evoke more curiosity and uneasiness than his paintings do. In Tranny, a transvestite with breasts and a penis seems to reflect on the complexity of his situation, while in Mutation we encounter a character with two heads, reaffirming the artist’s aim to create disconcerting images that discuss the density of human relationships and contemporary reality.
Working without concrete inspirations, Mulder allows himself to be guided by his most secret and intimate thoughts. This artist’s unique, intense energy imbues his works with an uncommon and authentic aura.