Dutch painter Eric Basstein will be opening his debut solo show with Treason Gallery in Seattle on 6th of September, and we got a peek inside his studio just hours before the paintings were shipped out. The Past is Now is showing the continuation and evolution of his graphic based fusions of various visual elements he arranges in abstract collages.
After years of being active as a successful DJ and producer, Basstein went back to painting only a few years ago. Inspired by the music making process, he started constructing images by putting together a variety of diverse visual samples that resonate with him. With his influences ranging from the works by Velasquez, Caravaggio, and Rubens, as well as the music by Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, A Tribe Called Quest or Madlib, the result of his work is an eclectic mix of classical art and contemporary popular culture elements. Often playing with perspective or classic art formats, the paintings are figurative in their base, but abstract at their final stage.
For this particular show, Basstein was intrigued by the idea of memory and remembering the past events. Taking "now moment" as the starting point for reflecting on the past, he is questioning to what extent do sideline events impact our future. With his current interest lying in classical art and the works of Dutch masters, he is intertwining the visuals of comics, dirt bike or football, something that he was into in his childhood. Simultaneously he is discovering that those hobbies were more interesting because of the impactful aesthetics of the graphics, logos and adds, rather than the activity itself. With this new body of work, he is trying to find the connection between his childhood and adult life interests and the way they interact and impact each other. —Sasha Bogojev