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Opposites Attract in a Surreal and Terrifying Art Show

Be careful of what you find inside the subversively enthralling mind of Christian Rex van Minnen.

by Diana Shi
Oct 2 2016, 11:35am

Icarus, 2016, Christian Rex van Minnen, triptych, oil on linen. All images courtesy the artist and Gallery Poulsen

The burning feeling that something has gone irretrievably off the tracks lays the groundwork for disturbing multidisciplinary exhibit, Enantiodromia. The new series from New England-born artist Christian Rex van Minnen consists of 12 brand new pieces, including three monotypes, three ceramic sculptures, and six oil paintings.

Van Minnen's works project themes of sci-fi strangeness mixed with the technical skill of classical artistry. A triptych depicting a dancing, naked man with a burning skull is made even more off-putting by placing a spear between his thighs. Similarly, what look like tattooed human palms are transformed into new oddities when slick, neon eclipses—or gummies, as candy also seems to be a recurring theme—hover in front.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The artist's tendency to include strange, often grotesque imagery is nothing to dismiss, as he employs an impeccable study of painterly detail in each work. Van Minnen's works are wonderfully finished pieces of art. Each terror is rich with a shrewd realism, despite its surreal effect.



To Do, To Be, 2016, oil on linen

The Creators Project spoke to the artist's gallery, Gallery Poulsen, who shared a few words from van Minnen: "The world I am exploring is one of collapsed opposites, where there's no clear distinction between spiritual experience and mania. Fear itself becomes a shimmering image, simultaneously warning away and inviting a reckless advance through its threshold." It should come as no surprise—according to the Oxford Dictionary, the word enantiodromia means "The tendency of things to change into their opposites, especially as a supposed governing principle of natural cycles and of psychological development." See more works from the show, below:

Spear of Destiny, 2016, oil on canvas

Broad Highway

Mono Mania 2, 2016, monotype, ink on paper

ABRACADABRA, 2016, oil on panel

Enantiodromia, 2016, ceramic

Christian Rex van Minnen's Enantiodromia shows at Gallery Poulsen in Copenhagen from October 14 – November 12, 2016. To learn more about the show, click here.

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