Stijn Bastianen | Mason's Yard: Pull Yourself Together

15 - 31 March 2023

Press preview: Wednesday 15 March, 1 - 3 pm.


Jack Bell Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Stijn Bastianen. This will be the artist's second solo show with the gallery.


I have always wanted to entertain everybody for as long as I can remember. Making people around me laugh at jokes or by doing stupid senseless things. I feel the same towards painting. It's kind of a similar way to express myself. I want the same thing for myself as for others. I want to be challenged, entertained, wonder, fantasize and laugh. Painting offers me all of this along with a whole wide spectrum of emotions. My expectation is that my paintings trigger these things and hopefully more inside each viewer. Because I draw and paint from my gut, naturally I get inspired by the things that occupy my mind and obviously one of these things is being a painter. 


In my larger paintings, I fantasize about weird or absurd situations as a painter to be in. From there on I slowly add details and focus points to direct the viewer's eye. It is important for me that the viewer gets sucked in from a distance and discover new things while exploring the canvas. Because the large paintings demand a lot of energy and focus, I often switch to smaller paintings and back. This helps me to create distance and keep a clear fresh vision on what I am doing.


As a kid I used to read a lot of comics and watch cartoons. In the past couple of years this began to appear more and more in my work. I think it has to do with the nostalgic aspect of it. Starting with cartoonish elements and figures this evolved further into the desire to tell a story in multiple frames. I use my sketchbook to draw what you could call 'small storyboards' in the shape of a canvas. Then I try to translate these in paint.

- Stijn Bastianen


Bastianen was born 1987 in Antwerp, Belgium.