Ruud van Empel (1958) is one of the most extraordinary photographic artists of this moment, both nationally and internationally. From hundred of fragments adopted from digital photos, he compiles new images that seem very life-like and realistic, but also conjure up a world that has never existed. The exhibition is the first large-scale museum overview of the work of Van Empel.
Van Empel has developed a unique working method within digital photography. The images he compiles display a paradisaical world that has never existed in the form shown. This world is primarily populated by children and dreamy adolescents as a personification of innocence, which is one of the most important themes of Van Empel’s work. But innocence is always vulnerable, and the longing for paradise is an all-too-human illusion that will be disturbed sooner or later.
Feast for the eye
Despite all their marvellous beauty, these works are far from unambiguous. Something is not quite right. What is real and what isn’t? And is it all quite as endearing as it appears at first sight? This aspect gives the work of Ruud van Empel a fascinating depth, in addition to the enormous spread of colour and wealth of detail that make his work a feast for the eye.
On Wednesday 12 October Ruud van Empel will hold a lecture on his work. Among other things, he will talk about his sources of inspiration and the techniques he uses during the generation of a work. Those who are interested can register for this lecture via the Groninger Museum website.
The catalogue Ruud van Empel. Photoworks 1995-2010 will be published to accompany the exhibition. Publisher: PhotoWorks International BV. The book costs € 42.50.
This exhibition has been compiled by curator of modern art Ruud Schenk.