MARGO VAN ERKELENS
Whether a portrait, a silhouette of a face, or an abstract landscape, Margo van Erkelens's paintings look like they have been recovered from a mound of stone and ash. Textured and layered, they bear the mark of their creator's hand. Van Erkelens, however, wants the viewer to inject their own experiences into her canvases. "My drive is only to leave the pure experience of shape and color, allowing imagination and fantasy to go beyond boundaries," she says. "This puts more importance on 'feeling' rather than 'recognizing.'"
Based in Ouddorp, a small seaside village just south of the Hague in the Netherlands, van Erkelens draws inspiration from the beach, which she has lived near since childhood. "The smell of the salty water, the changes of seasons and the accompanying muted color nuances of dunes and water, the textures that are reminiscent of the sand, is what results in my recognizable artworks," she says. Combining layers of paint with sand, soil, fabric samples, failed paintings, pigments, and gypsum, van Erkelens builds up layers on her canvases so that they can be scraped away. "I love the mistakes in my paintings and embrace them," she says.