04.11 - 16.12.23
Madé van Krimpen proudly presents Johnny, Klaas Rommelaere’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
“Johnny” is Klaas Rommelaere’s latest series of works. In 2021, Klaas Rommelaere saw Adam Curtis' six-part documentary Can't Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World. Using found footage, Curtis examines the power structures that shape our world. He touches on themes such as individualism versus collectivism, conspiracy theories, American imperialism, the history of China and artificial intelligence. The film made a deep impression on Rommelaere and entered his work. After Dark Uncles (2020 - 2022), a deeply personal project exploring his family history, Rommelaere now - following Curtis - turns his gaze to the world.
The nihilism, in Adam Curtis documentary, reminded Rommelaere of Mike Leigh's award-winning 1993 film Naked, in which the intellectual but dominant and violent twenty-something Johnny wanders through gloomy post-Thatcherian London and shares his dark world view with anyone who will listen.
In the “Johnny” series, Klaas combines impressions from these documentaries with his personal photos, creating a new visual narrative that incorporates his fears, such as snakes, alongside elements of comfort and encouragement, including references to nature, candles, and botanical beauty. Rommelaere embroiders 'Chaos' on several of his new works, as well as 'react', 'reload', 'recharge'. And so the Johnny series becomes his highly personal attempt to create order out of chaos.
Klaas Rommelaere (°1986, Roeselare, Belgium) creates intricately embroidered tapestries and embroidered sculptures that bridge the personal and the collective. His work narrates his lived experiences and is filled with familiar images and symbols representing both real and imagined human connections. Each piece is a labor of time and love, emphasizing the significance of the human connection to the creation and consumption of art. Rommelaere collaborates closely with a group of skilled elderly craftswomen (‘The Madams’) to bring his ideas to life.
Klaas Rommelaere's experiences include academic achievements, such as a Master's in Visual Arts (Fashion) in Ghent, Belgium (2011-2012), and a Bachelor's in Visual Arts (Fashion) (2008-2011) and a Bachelor's in Fashion Technology (2005-2008), both also in Ghent. Additionally, he has exhibited his artwork at various locations, including Gallery Zink in Germany (2020), Art Brussel in Brussels (2021), Gallery 38CC in Delft (2021), TEXTURE Kortrijk Museum (2021), Madé van Krimpen in Amsterdam (2022), and the Zeeuws Museum's "Protest Procession Parade" exhibition in 2023.