Antoine Goossens

Antoine Goossens’ stylish paintings entice us, each in its own way. In a roundabout way. One seems to want to refer both to Cobra and Fundamental Painting, another resembles play on words, with the images and numbers striving to be read as words. Another one invites us to linger in a space made for painting, and yet another seems to want to guide us to that space along a carefully-planned route. However, taken as a whole, Antoine Goossens’ paintings appear to want to hamper us from settling into any rhythm when we observe them. He’d rather we didn’t.

He doesn’t sit on the fence. The thread running through them is the urgent need to paint memories, experiences, feelings and ideas anew. These thoughts can be transformed into mere strokes of a paintbrush or actual houses. But this isn’t an arbitrary process: the starting point is the painter saying ‘I am the source of these images. This is me, Antoine Goossens. This is all part of me, be it a toy duck, a beach ball or a flurry of paint on a canvas.

But just as we are delving into the meaning behind the beach ball (or jet fighter) and trying to frame his metaphors in some sort of reality, Antoine Goossens says, “I might just be a billboard after all.”

There’s no depth in a billboard. Billboards have to have a simple message and don’t require any direct engagement. You don’t linger over a billboard; you don’t spend time on it. It needs to be quick and efficient. You need a clear message in no more than six words. It’s like a punch in the face in full view of everyone. Is he being a cynic jeopardising the depth of his work? As you might say in just six words, “that’s what free speech looks like”.

Antoine Goossens (1992) lives and works in Kortenberg. In 2017 he graduated as Master in Visual Arts (Painting) at Luca – School of Arts, Ghent.