Les Bons Sauvages

Joram Roukes

Mar. 15th – Apr. 14th 2013


Joram Roukes is a Netherlands based artist, living and working in the city of Groningen.

His predominantly large scaled oil paintings are reflections of everyday life situations, observed, filtered and reassembled in a collage like way. The resulted paintings pose a fragmented yet cohesive view on today’s society and human behavior.
It is impossible to hastily pass by one of Joram Roukes’ striking canvases, as his arrestingly bright colours, skilled representations and experimental juxtapositions arouse immediate intrigue in any viewer. But it is more than just jarring images and stirring compositions that keep us lingering in front of his pieces. The distinct quality that transforms Joram’s work from ‘glance-worthy’ to ‘fascinating’ is perhaps best described by the indefinable tension present in every detail of his work.

Joram’s energetic canvases have an incredible liveliness that draws us into each surreal world that he constructs. In moments of great vigour and spontaneity, Joram’s brushwork recalls the intensity of the abstract expressionists’ emotive mark-making. In other areas, extreme control and meticulous attention is paid to familiar figurative representations tweaked with a surreal quirkiness. Joram’s capacity to seamlessly mix traditional techniques, urban influences, pop culture imagery and fantasy, displays a freedom that explores the full spectrum of what the medium of oil paint can accomplish. Blending graffiti roots with classically trained dexterity; Joram achieves a unique and inspired visual style with which he can communicate his many observations of the Western World. Expertly combining high and low art, Joram’s portraits comment on contemporary culture, confronting viewers with our own untamed absurdity in an engaging narrative characterized by beauty, chaos and decay.

For the show entitled ‘Les bons Sauvages’, Roukes has made a body of work that touches the subject of folklore and tradition, placing human/animal figures in situations ranging from western folkloric festivities to common customs and behavior in a context or environment touching both dream and reality, nature and nurture.Les Bons Sauvages is a reference to the crevice between the latter and can be seen as a common, reoccurring theme in the recent work of Roukes.