By Lieke Kester
Joncquil creates enigmatic, fragmentary paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations that resemble hallucinations, dreams or memories. His work combines figurative and abstract images that seem to be in a state of flux, suggesting a momentary arrest of an ongoing process. Even when depicting familiar imagery such as animals or clowns, his paintings disconcert and disorient the viewer.
Folly and magic touch upon deeply-rooted needs in human societies. Clowns, comical performers who entertain by their outlandish behaviour, can produce anxiety or fear just as easily as they can trigger laughter. Displaced from the circus or children’s party to the isolation of the woods at night, the figure of a clown becomes menacing.
His titles make reference to various strands of literary and popular culture, alluding to metaphors, proverbs or snatches of everyday speech: “When it rains, it pours”. Life can be difficult and unsettling, uncontrollable. The dark pallet of rich browns and feverishly simmering yellows broods on these apprehensions.
His apparently casual brush strokes are the result of a calculated process of addition and subtraction, applying gentle washes of paint and removing pigment from the surface to highlight chosen areas. The paintings are not only Rembrandt-like in atmosphere, colour and in their theatrical employment of light and shadow, but also in their subject matter. Like Rembrandt, Dutch-born Joncquil seamlessly melds the earthly and the spiritual, creating emotive and highly individual paintings that linger in the mind.