Elise Debrock at The Wunderwall: (Antwerp)
In her artistic practice Elise Debrock portrays the everyday, or rather her everyday. Through analyzing reality she looks for uncanny, absurd, beautiful or striking components. More than once she opts for the genre of portrait art. Whether she starts from a living model, her own archive of images or an online photo collection, her subject always undergoes an alienating metamorphosis in time, space and context. Not the depicted subject but rather a person in a specific situation is the central focus point.
A game of leading and misleading unravels itself on the canvas. Things are not always what they seem and so the viewer’s gaze is guided by technique, color and interpretations in a humorous way. The viewer falls dazed into the trap of an (apparent) cheerfulness that Debrock captures in her paintings. Only after a long and intense look, does the appearance crumble and a different (often rougher) reality emerges. This schizophrenic play between appearances and reality is not limited to the human portrait. Likewise, some of her diverse landscapes convey this duality, albeit in a rather philosophical way.
Yet not every works needs or has a double layer. Debrock is often moved by the simple beauty of a landscape, object or scene, sometimes resulting in more intimate work in a smaller format.
Whatever materials or techniques she uses, Debrock always seeks for a balance between freedom and control, reason and irrationality. This is reflected, among other things, in the different ways in which she uses her brushes and materials. In some works she approaches her subject with an enormous patience, while in other paintings she works in a surprisingly breezy, intuitive way. Het eternal quest to find this balance functions like a perpetual circle that continues to propel, fascinate and amaze.