Ornamental Decoy - Thomas Claus


Rik Moens’ art is a subtle play of the mind, a continuously shifting assault at painterly convention, a delicate attempt at visual deconstruction and a perpetual voyage into the creative subconcious. If the studio is an empty stage, the paintings might be considered as props which the artist cum actor uses in a forever expanding performance, rife with masked intentions, hidden truths and coded realities. It unveils a complex labyrinth of imagery that attempts to reinvigorate painting through a vernacular of visual disruption displaying various possibilities while at the same time remaining firmly rooted within the boundaries of its own conflicted self. Here, the tragic dilemma of painting is being transformed into a hysteric travesty of painting which the artist perversely manipulates in order to ‘expose’ himself. He operates in a funky realm of dissonant voices where painting remains a restless fugitive hiding from its own shadow. He is not so much interested in what to paint rather than how to paint it, conciously disavowing the formal boundaries of much modern art. It is a world of contradictory nature, dialectical intent and paradoxical creation. The paintings refuse to explain themselves nor do they try to tell us a story as if sensing that every attempt towards comprehension remains futile. They look like paintings, even act like them and could therefore be considered genuine. Yet they seem to want to deceive the viewer, maybe even mock or provoke him as he tries to contemplate them. Somehow he finds himself submerged in a dazzling pandemonium of strange masks at a carnival that might double as an exhibition. Are we for real or are we merely acting, the paintings seem to be asking a baffled audience while their reclusive creator keeps himself busy by further layering his ambiguous reality.

(Thomas Claus)