The American artist describes this series of works as an attempt to create a conceptual and emotional link between the various layers of oil paint, imbuing them with meaning, as his creative process combines a meticulous glazing technique with an organic, surreal development of pictorial forms, in an approach almost reminiscent of automatism.
The glazes, made with modern pigments of hypersaturated colors, act as skin, representing a sensation in opposition to that of the compositional structure. Layers of flattened narratives and histories are overlaid and covered with tattoos and tags, images drawn from contemporary visual culture, modern myths, and pop archetypes. Quinacridone is an example of a synthetic, artificial, chemical, acidic, fluorescent, digital, and ultra-modern pigment, with an uncouth and intense potency, that contrasts with the equilibrium underlying it.
In the paintings he has produced for this exhibition he pays homage to Goya and Manet in dialogue with Meléndez—the Nude Maja and Olympia merge with still lifes in front of landscapes—and we find an adaptation of Ribalta’s Christ embracing Saint Bernard, which is at the Prado Museum, or a Saint Sebastian which could have been inspired by the pose of Guido Reni’s, as well as references to the work of Rembrandt and other old masters in his monotypes. In addition to recognizing the influence of Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Pieter Aertsen, the Venetian School, and Caravaggio, if we move to the present, among his more current references van Minnen includes Kenny Scharf, Erik Parker, Tomoo Gokita, and Ryan Travis Christian.