In his vibrant, playful paintings, dutch artist Georges de Groot refigures history and fantasy through a contemporary lens. Utilizing the archetypal myths that inform the visual cultures of the ancient Mayas, Incas, and Egyptians, de Groot creates explosive compositions that draw from the collective unconscious that binds humans across time and space. In addition, allusions to fairies, monsters, and prehistoric animals populate his acrylic canvases, these anthropomorphized subjects assuming outlandish shapes and colors. Blending elements of the fictional and the historical, the works present bright, wild grotesqueries in which disparate elements are distorted and fused into something entirely modern.
De Groot’s It’s Incredible is a whimsical patchwork of human and animal forms. Intentionally crude in its painterly execution, the work reveals the artist’s deft ability to layer color to create depth. Dominated by a bright red palette, the breaks in the background reveal a strong green underpainting. Layered on top are warm yellows, pinks, and oranges rendering stylized human faces and bird forms visible. The result is a fantastical amalgamation of signifiers hinting at diverse times and places that appear simultaneously familiar and mysterious.
In his painting Geen Titel 2, de Groot abandons his typically chaotic compositional structure and focuses on a single face depicted on top of a dark blue-purple background. Red, orange, green, and blue are painted in playful rainbow swaths across the center of the canvas, and a leering face is etched into the pigment. However, the uneven eyes, oblong nose, and bared teeth are more playful than ominous, the painting taking on an illustrative quality. Indeed, the generalized nature of the face indicates that it is not a portrait, but a drawing based on memories and experiences that are shared by all humankind.