ANTWERP, BELGIUM.- Galerie Van Der Mieden presents Christian Noirfalise, on view through April 26, 2008. Christian Noirfalise (°1979, Laken, België), who majored in painting, creates portraits, landscapes and still lifes, classical themes which constantly reappear. However, his work is anything but classical: he doesn't work on canvas but uses a camera and Photoshop. Christian doesn't hide the fact he works with Photoshop because his work isn't about creating the perfect photograph. He uses pieces of photographs as strokes of paint as it were. With a painter's eye, he applies light and shadow, various tints and certain proportions to create a balanced work.
His early work consists of a series of portraits which are simultaneously landscapes. Imaginary landscapes based on conversations with the subjects, and created with pictures he took which he preserves in an extensive archive. In more recent work, present and past merge and pieces of landscape, moments in time and places form a mosaic. A large part of this work is based on his own memory. In a series of smaller works he zooms in on parts of the large mosaic and by adding text gives us clues to the possible story behind the bigger picture.
His newest work 'Gustave' tells the story of a world traveller. The deceased Gustave's personal archive of photographs has blended into a landscape full of memories and location markers. This work is, accompanied by yet another series of small work focusing on acquired souvenirs, 'the story of a man'. The souvenirs are banal objects, not particularily interesting artefacts, but because of the explicit compositions they become blow-ups of a plentiful life. In the 6-panel 'Victory' Christian explores the etymological meaning of the word by using images and associations. An archive is created that consists chiefly of portraits of political, sports or cultural personalities. Placed together they become exclamations of happiness but the defeat of the losing party is also exposed. Ultimately this work is about the clash between victory and defeat, a clash of images, een abstract mixture about the same theme. The work gives a pointillist impression.
It is saturated with too many facial expressions which results in a subliminal image that shows victory in all its ambiguity. Again, there are accompanying smaller works, details of the larger 6-panel. Christian is once again the researcher slash journalist who isolates combined images from the large chaotic field as if preparing to write an article about it.