The Flemish artist, who finds in the symbolism of Wiertz, Spilliaert and Ensor his own linguistic antecedents, lives the pressing presence of Death and represents it, since his first works, through conceptually minimal metaphors, like this broken mirror – where balls are still sticked – which holds the memory of the past.
His drawings seem to be references to Artaud collecting fragments of anatomy, debris of bone, nails in a page which becomes the space of a coffin. Nevertheless, in spite of his interest – during his forming years – for the history of madness, it is in the Flemish carnivalesque tradition that we most find the universe of the grotesque in which the human figure reveals its inconsistency.
The concept of the end of life is central in his works, often accompanied by the ritual of pain, like a constant warning to accept our condition of mortal beings. The artist feels that the immortality of the human being does not cancel only his individual and ontogenetic capital, but that the philogenetic capital of the mankind is in danger of disappearing. This is why he operates a vibrant denunciation through the visualization of shapes marked with strong humanity, like memory, feeling, femininity, sexuality, past. Tackling interactively with objects that belonged to the human being’s real-life experience, Van Oost “metaphorizes” these signs, intending to throw up an emotion and a regret: the premonition of a total reversibility.
This is why Jan Van Oost says: “Irony is the strategic finesse inherent in my works, the complex ambiguity between horror and seduction, between reality and fantasy. Art reveals things that are not usually within one’s consciousness range” and he adds: “my works is a mental theatre which refers to secrets: a project, a conception of life. Autobiographic, but without “biography”, viscerally baroque: a cocktail of human documents.”
Gallery PIECE UNIQUE will present at 4, rue Jacques Callot, an original sculpture of Jan Van Oost and at Gallery PIECE UNIQUE VARIATIONS, 26, rue Mazarine a selection of new works of the artist, drawings based on the relation between Eros and Thanatos and sculptures.