Dutch painter Ronald de Bloeme takes visual motifs, signs and symbols from the commercial world and uses them to construct colourful high gloss paintings. His new show, Diktatur, is on at the Hamish Morrison Galerie in Berlin until 24 October…
De Bloeme analyses the structure of communications strategies for consumer goods in an attempt to reveal the impact they have – be it through colour association, or brand and identity awareness – on our subconscious. How, de Bloeme asks, do brands manage to attain this “absolutism” within today’s communication processes: these are simple forms and colours, but what they represent (a flag, a chocolate bar, a sports brand) is a language now known to millions of people.
It is no accident that his work often resembles a fleeting glance at a billboard – the essential elements recalled in shape and colour as a painting. The image, not the text, provides the language.
De Bloeme has also looked to other found objects and consumer goods to generate his paintings, scanning material into his computer and painting the desired collage in high gloss or enamel paint.
To create his Verfall/Decay painting above, for example, de Bloeme used packaging that had been created to house jewellery and also a Benson & Hedges cigarette pack. Having scanned the two templates he then eliminated all the figurative and textual references, creating a new geometric composition from the original found material.
In Ironie, above, de Bloeme again sourced two, somewhat disparate, found objects: a photo of an army general and a coloured napkin. In the photograph, the general’s medal ribbons provided de Bloeme with an interesting colour palette, each one referring to a particular military accomplishment. Both the medal ribbons and the coloured napkin were then scanned, made into a collage and painted in enamel on canvas.
The pieces shown here include works from De Bloeme’s last show at Hamish Morrison in 2007, works from his solo show at the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin, some works now from private collections, and from a new Bauhaus exhibition.