Works on paper

© Courtesy of Christian Rex van Minnen and cadet capela
© Credits photo: Thomas Marroni

Christian Rex van Minnen

May 9 — 19, 2019

Rue Chapon, Paris, FR

Van Minnen is best known for his mind-boggling oils in which he utilizes the tricks and techniques of the old masters to construct the most exceptional surreal scenes and characters that are regularly adorned with numerous references to dark moments of history and questionable events of the present day. As a genuine fan of art, this Colorado-born artist likes to experiment with other mediums and techniques, and after recently introducing his first collaborative sculptural works with Aaron Johnson, Works on Paper is simply a logical step forward.

​”Ive learned to not force the language of oil painting onto these mediums but to try to bring out what is unique to each medium” Van Minnen said to Juxtapoz, explaining his approach to this new body of work. Introducing some new concepts - from realistic portraits of blood-covered ultimate fighters, over atmospheric still life compositions, abstract creations, to a mix between classical portraiture and cartoonish imagery - the pieces in this show are very different from one another and his signature body of work. By trying to master each technique and its unique characteristics, he is creating images around those elements that are creating the most unexpected results.​

Along with the unique monotype works produced in his California studio and the watercolor paintings that he’s working on while traveling, Van Minnen’s Paris residency included work on his first limited editions produced at the legendary Idem Paris print house.

Ive been holding off on doing an edition only because Ive been waiting for the right opportunity to do something unique, something handmade, something original, and the invitation to come to work at Idem in Paris was just that” the artist said, as he explained why he still hasn’t done a limited edition release after all these years.

​When asked if working at such a historic landmark affected him in any way, he told us: “In so many ways! Making lithographs in this centuries-old way, on the same Bavarian limestones that have literally held the marks and gestures of the greatest artists of the past 200 years, is really intimidating and intense, extremely unpredictable and challenging at times, but altogether, a great honor. It’s a really unique medium and it took a few attempts to start understanding how the medium works and how it translates once the stone is passed through the presses. After a couple of weeks working there, Im starting to see just how much is possible with the medium. Its been an amazing experience and honor to work with the people at Idem and in that studio that has such an incredible history and expertise.”​

Sasha Bogojev