Julien Meert at Sorry We're Closed, Brussels
A recent trip to Brussels illuminated several salient issues within social and art-related infrastructures; one of the less serious of which was the influx of playful, bright, almost childlike painting techniques and aesthetics in the Belgian capital's art scene. This is, of course, not entirely alien to that found in London, but it was interesting to see how artists such as Julien Meert, currently on display at Sorry We're Closed, employed such engaging and soft visuals, and to what end.
In the artist's bio, Meert's style is described as "at once (hyper) figurative and radically disembodied" which arguably throws the viewer solidly into the present moment. The chaos that we find ourselves immersed in today is often beyond language; it is certainly beyond the visual. How would we even attempt to anchor this moment when as soon as we grasp it, it has surely changed, been swiped, scrolled and discarded? Meert shows clear artistic influences from the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tracey Emin, and Roger Hiorns, but the gallery assures us that the work "could not belong to any other era than today's". Given the volume of artists working with the aforementioned bright palettes and playful themes and aesthetics, this is a convincing argument.