The paintings show an isolated image of reality, such as is indicated on the central object/subject. It is not just an image, but a view that brings to life hidden aspects of the existing world and charges them with meaning.
Antoon makes oil paintings. An important theme in his work are the so-called ‘Lonely Subjects’, single objects isolated on a big white background.
What the ‘Lonely Subjects’ do, does not refer to dreams, future or past. Only the intensity of a still moment is of importance.
By the solid central position of the object (which at the same time is also the subject of the painting), shown on a background that looks like an autonomous empty room, the painting reduces the form and the meaning to their bare essence.
The ‘Lonely Subjects’ stimulate another view on reality. They also give the spectator the power to determine the content of the painting. The subject receives a new aura, next to its everyday function in real life.
Instead of covering a complete canvas, the ‘Lonely Subjects’ reflect on the mystery of one particular subject situated in a big empty space, whose function is to isolate the subject, reduced to its essence.
Most objects bathe in a monochrome white, into which the spectator can project his thoughts. It is a kind of ‘espace perdu’inviting the viewer to do something with it. Like the artist himself, the spectator is bound to go in pursuit of content, of an idea presented in a clear and pure manner, with what looks like a simple painting touch.
Antoon considers the mystery of one subject, displayed in an otherwise big empty space. That space creates the illusion of perspective and it isolates the subject from known reality.
‘La chambre claire’ versus ‘clair/obscur’: the lighted room where an interplay takes place between formal expression , rendered minimally but clearly, and the meaning of the image shown.
Exhibitions and images call up ideas; some ideas become symbols for a precise overall idea.
Together with the painterly game of illusion, Antoon’s work may contain a statement. Sometimes the image generates philosophical reflections, often with an ironical twist.
The subject is painted realistically, but he white or black background isolates it from the everyday context, so as to make the paintings non-realistic at the same time.
An important issue in Antoon’s work are the so-called ‘Lonely Subjects’. ‘Subjects’ because the painted objects go and live their own lives, so as to become ‘subjects’; ‘lonely’ because of their central position in a seemingly empty space.