Christian Vinck regards himself as an artist belonging to a long tradition of amateur painters. That is to say, what matters most to him is not his technique so much as his subjects. Likening his artistic process to the act of fishing, painting affords him invaluable space in which to process his vast and eclectic collection of references. His collections range from sticker books, album covers, and baseball cards, to newspaper cuttings, historical encyclopedias, and found photography. Drawing on these kinds of source material and collecting habits, the bodies of work he comes to create unfold gradually through a daily ritual of painting, year after year. This is where personal narratives come to be interwoven with minor histories, micro-narratives, and fictional stories inspired by actual events, people, and non-human species.

For this exhibition, Vinck’s personal experience of migration––he was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and currently lives and works in Madrid, Spain––inspires a central theme: flight. The exhibition features more than 200 new paintings of oil on canvas, created over the past five years up until the moment of this exhibition opening. Together, they are ‘Album #8, Alt’, grouped into four series. In one, he maps and illustrates an unofficial history of aviation in Latin America. In another, he creates a series of clouds based on used sticker sheets. A further series sees him obsess over and imitate two breeds of dog figured in ceramic tiles he found in Italy. Finally, he portrays Turpiales, the national bird of Venezuela and Curaçao, and Pinzones taking cue from his surname, which, in Dutch, means “finch.” (Vinck is both Dutch and Venezuelan.)

During his development of these works, the artist has begun to address more profoundly the intersection of the Dutch and Spanish heritages that culturally inform the part of the Caribbean where he grew up. His fascination in picturing images is not only provoked by dominant histories and official archives, but is inspired, by and large, by oral histories and urban legends. His exhibition gives attention to the at first meaningless miscellanea that people surround themselves with; once gathered, this patchwork of visual fragments introduce more informal ways of creating legacies, and in representing cultural identity.

This is the artist’s first exhibition in the Netherlands.

—Supported by

AMMODO, Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), the artist’s fee is supported by the Mondriaan Fund (from the Experimental Regulations)