This monograph on Ben Sledsens (Antwerp, °1991) and his work was published on the occasion of his second solo exhibition at the Tim Van Laere Gallery in the autumn of 2018. For an artist of only 27 years of age this is quite an achievement!
With his romantic imagery and colourful compositions, Sledsens tries to create his own world: "An alternative universe, a kind of utopia." And with the support of gallery owner Tim Van Laere, he is free to discover this world in complete freedom without having to worry too much about the business side of the story. The gallerist does not believe that the work of Sledsens can be compared to that of anyone else. "Ben does draw a lot of inspiration from art history, and that is something you can feel in his work. He therefore measures himself with great masters such as Monet, Bruegel and Matisse," Van Laere continues. This is not a case of megalomania though, because Sledsens always looks very down to earth, especially with his green overalls in his studio. For the painter, art history is an infinite source of inspiration. Nature is also omnipresent in his oeuvre. These two elements even come together in many works, as you can see in The Landscape Painter (2018) and Tiger in the Jungle - Homage to Henri Rousseau (2016).
"The monography is a poetic discovery journey along portraits, still lifes and landscapes. "
This monography (Publisher: Hannibal) is a poetic discovery journey along portraits, still lifes and landscapes. These are alternated with texts by Manfred Sellink and Karen Van Gedtsenhoven and an interview between Sledsens himself and fellow artist Rinus Van de Velde. If you are convinced, just like us, of the exceptional talent of this young artist, you better go out and buy this book, because to get your hands on a real Sledsens, you can expect to end up in a long queue of other enthusiasts.
All artworks by Ben Sledsens, top to bottom:
- Jaguar in the Jungle, 2018
- The Battle, 2018
- The Landscape Painter, 2018
- Lumberjack, 2018