a solo show @ Black & White gallery
The paintings of Michael van den Besselaar play with the visual culture that has increasingly come to determine our lives. His series of paintings are about looking and being looked at, about what is real and what is not, about what memory does to us, about pictures that we believe and about credibility. They demonstrate how images convey the suggestion of truth, but in fact open the door for numerous interpretations.
At the heart of this exhibition at New York’s Black & White Gallery are groups of television sets: The Time Machine Mirrors. They are the product of the optimistic years when capitalism was victorious and technology was there to improve things. But these painted televisions are, in fact, merely believable casings for the images the artist displays on them. As a messenger of reality, the television has become a deceptively objective window on the world. Van den Besselaar draws on images from the fields of news and entertainment that have become icons, images that have lodged themselves in the collective memory. These pictures seem to be clear enough, but they lead to numerous associations and even to confusion. With his interplay of nuances and accents, he opens the door for all kinds of associations. And he leaves us with open ends, at the most with the undermining conclusion: ‘What we’ve just seen is not real’ – or at least: it’s not the only reality.