Duo exhibition, SOM Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. September 29 / October 22, 2023.
Johnny Mae Hauser and Aldo van den Broek converge in the theme of "UNDERCURRENT" by spotlighting the quieter, often unnoticed facets of human life.
Hauser's photography captures the enigmatic realm of emotions with serene and introspective images, characterized by soft and cool color schemes. These visuals invite viewers to explore introspection, isolation, and emotional intimacy, challenging conventional ways of seeing photography.
In contrast, van den Broek navigates societal undercurrents through his textured artworks, often inspired by metropolises, desolate landscapes, and the mysteries of strangers. His choice of materials, such as discarded cardboard, wood, fabrics, plastic, and metals, breathes life into his pieces.
Both artists urge us to take a closer look at the subtleties of our own experiences, inviting a profound connection with the concealed currents of human existence.
Aldo van den Broek's solo exhibition "Vacuum" at gallery Vriend van Bavink is a thought-provoking exploration of perception, introspection, and vulnerability. Through his diverse body of work, van den Broek challenges the viewers to engage with the complexities of human existence.
The lack of eye contact in these portraits suggests a significant connection to the stigma associated with publicly displaying vulnerability. The deliberate disregard for our presence as spectators is evident. These individuals glance but see nothing, immersed in their own separate worlds. Through these images, a profound emotional vacuum is conveyed, highlighting the challenges of revealing vulnerability in public. Their silent gazes communicate a poignant message, encouraging us to reflect on societal expectations regarding strength and fragility.
Accompanying the portraits are architectonical works, sculptures, and fragments of everyday objects. These elements not only provide a counterpoint to the human figures but also serve as symbols of impermanence. Through meticulous attention to detail, van den Broek captures the essence of these objects, imbuing them with a sense of quiet significance. The juxtaposition of the human form with the mundane objects invites contemplation on the fragility of existence and the fleeting nature of our material world.
One striking aspect of van den Broek's sculptural work is the deliberate use of a layer of black paint. This artistic choice serves to obscure the materials used in the construction of the sculptures, heightening the sense of mystery and intrigue. By veiling the process of creation, the artist encourages viewers to focus on the final form and the emotions it evokes. The sculptures, seemingly solid and impenetrable, symbolize the hidden depths within each individual, as well as the societal stigma associated with vulnerability and sensitivity.
Through the exhibition "Vacuum," Aldo van den Broek invites us to reflect on the masks we wear and the illusions of safety we create. His emphasis on fragility within the ordinary prompts us to reevaluate our relationship with our own vulnerability. By peeling back the layers of societal expectations, the artist urges us to embrace our authentic selves and to confront the fears that keep us hidden. In doing so, van den Broek challenges us to consider the power of art as a catalyst for introspection, empathy, and personal transformation.
Komorebi, 2019 / 2023
Shunga and Sakura overlap in their cultural significance and representation of beauty, sensuality, and the transient nature of life. Shunga is traditional erotic art, while Sakura symbolizes life's ephemeral beauty. Sometimes, shunga includes cherry blossoms as symbols of love and the fleeting nature of pleasure. This overlap creates a tapestry of sensuality and natural beauty, inviting contemplation of life's ever-changing essence.
In exploring this connection, Aldo van den broek, draws inspiration from Japanese architecture to emphasize the concept of home as a place without censorship. The intricate designs and aesthetics of Japanese architecture inform the artistic creations, serving as a physical manifestation of the idea that home is a space where sensuality and artistic expression can exist freely. Through these sculptures and paintings, Aldo van den broek captures the contemplative nature of life and the beauty found within our personal sanctuaries.
Architecture, color, shunga and sakura research, Japan.
Palimpsest Monogorod, 2010 / 2023
Aldo van den Broek's vibrant interpretation of brutalist former Soviet cities through his captivating series of architectural sculptures and paintings. Inspired by his artist residencies in places like Belgrade, Tbilisi, and Moldova, van den Broek masterfully crafts these imaginative artworks. These creations offer a unique perspective on the history, resilience, and architectural language of the monogorods. Rooted in his immersive experiences as an artist in residences, each sculpture and painting delves into the intricate layers of these decaying cities. They invite viewers to contemplate the enduring spirit of the monogorods amid the passage of time.
Former Sovjet architecture and propaganda research. East Berlin, Germany / Belgrade, Serbia / Tbilisi, Georgia / Chişinǎu, Moldova.
Kiss and ride / In every dreamhome a heartache, 2018 / 2023Traveling and the restlessness that comes with it. Exploring love, death and the existential.
Siberia, 2016 / 2018
Beautiful distress, 2015
Kings County Hospital was home to an extraordinary venture known as Beautiful Distress. Here, artist Aldo embarked on a poetic odyssey, intertwining his brush with the lived experiences of individuals navigating the labyrinthine realm of mental health challenges. Drawing inspiration from their poignant narratives, his steady hand delicately articulated their essence upon his chosen canvases. Unconventional Aldo fearlessly breathed life into medication- and cigarette- packages and pizza boxes, transforming them into vessels of profound artistic expression. Within the hospital walls, his works sparked evocative dialogues, serving as a conduit to shatter stereotypes and misconceptions. Through his unparalleled creativity, Aldo tenderly cultivated a tapestry of hope, resilience, and a future touched by the compassionate embracement of mental well-being.
Kings County Mental Behaviour Center Residency, New York, New york.