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Koekoeckx Geert
  -    -  Koekoeckx Geert

Geert Koekoeckx

Visual artist

In his paintings, Geert Koekoeckx unveils a wondrous universe that is as colorful as it is irresistible. It is formed from myths of various cultures, historical references and the sheer power of imagination. The arches span from references to frescoes in the palace of Knossos to the myth of Icarus, the Indian teachings of the chakras and Persian engravings that are playfully interwoven with the artist’s own experiences and memories. Historicity, however, is of marginal importance. The narrative dimension is subordinate to the intuitive. Everything can, everything is permitted to get mixed up in the whirlwind of these magical worlds. Illustrations from medieval medical encyclopedias can encounter the misunderstandings of the painter’s childhood, when he thought that eating carrots would get you beautiful eyes (instead of better vision). And yet these misunderstandings also somehow close a circle in which the myths of the physiological world merge with the myths of subjective perception.

Koekoeckx’ paintings are populated by cartoonish characters of all kinds. Gentle Chimeras, sprung from apocalyptic worlds. A giraffe with antlers resembling branches. Skeletons with shouldered sausages riding on bears through an acid induced medieval landscape. Squirrels with tabby fur, too much lipstick and far too long Marsupilami tails. The creatures appear like art-historical references, revived from paintings of times when the imaginary monsters of cartographers spread fear and terror on unchartered territories of this earth, but here transformed into their playful-ironic version, marked by the ravages of time.


Olaf Pradhan & Sofie Verbrugghen, April 2023


Geert Koekoeckx (°1983 Leuven, lives and works in Berlare).

Geert Koekoeckx’ paintings resemble collage-like theatre pieces – with a baroque twist – in which the painter, as the director, plays with the pictorial possibilities. He places odd objects on shaky, stacked pedestals while fluffy animals are jumping through hoops on multicolored stages. Often the depicted animals are deformed or have amputated limbs. Although it’s never really grim. These contradictions are part of Koekoeckx’ work. Scale differences are kaleidoscopically intertwined and elaborated details alternate with blurry zones, as a result of which the reality will unfold as a spectacular backdrop. The artist is questioning the artist’s role. What are his options? How do the artist’s decisions relate to those of the beholder? Are small errors and little ambiguities not the most telling?

Koekoeckx creates a smooth interaction between drawings from his imagination and images from old magazines and books (e.g. Medical encyclopedia), internet, comics… One drawing is the – often very intuitive – cause for another addition and so on. In this way, his works gradually take shape. One could call it a modern version of the écriture automatique. For the artist the narrative aspect is inferior to the intuitive aspect although language plays a very important role; often a painting starts with the title. In his recent paintings, Roman frescoes are a great source of inspiration like color palette, plants, the many motives and the vulnerability of frescoes Koekoeckx often quotes from art history:This based on themes, composition, visual language…

Solo exhibitions

V/MSP Gallery, Brussel

‘The Wunderwall’ – Gallery Sofie Van de Velde / Plus One Gallery, Antwerpen

Cecilia Jaime Gallery, Gent

Lakenhal, Herentals

Light Cube Gallery, Ronse
Cecilia Jaime Gallery, Gent

Die Kunstgalerie, Keulen

‘Revenge of the King’ – Leuven

Cultuurprijs Aarschot – Stedelijk Museum, Aarschot

Sango Art Gallery, Leuven

Group exhibitions

‘WAJO #1’ – WAJO Art Space, Leuven

Gallery Verduyn, Moregem

Galerie Dessers, Hasselt

‘Pandaemonium’, with Warre Mulder, Jo Foulon & Samuel Vanderveken – CC Het Gasthuis, Aarschot
‘Temple of Maybe’, with Buren, Warre Mulder, Tom Poelmans, Katleen Vinck – Paviljoen Kask, Gent

‘Nature is Us’, with Tom Jooris & Raphaël Buedts – Galerie D’apostrof, Meigem

‘Brisure/artistieke verwantschappen’, with Caroline Coolen, Nadia Naveau, Nick Ervinck,
Rinus Vandevelde, Thomas Huyghe, Virginie Bailly,… – Belfius, Brussel

‘Open M’ – Museum M, Leuven
‘Pure Peinture’ – Montanus, Diksmuide

2022: Art Couch Cahiers
2021: Interview Elle Magazine: Read article

2008: Cultuurprijs Aarschot