Suzan Schuttelaar / Colorful Camouflage / 17.05 – 17.08.2019

Colorful Camouflage

Solo exhibition of Suzan Schuttelaar

The upside, 2016 (Schuttelaar)
The upside, 2016, 65×128 cm

The works of the Dutch artist Suzan Schuttelaar reflect her curiosity in people and their complexities. This curiosity is embodied in a wealth of portraits. She documents, amongst others, the development of her children in a range of paintings already for many years. In her portraits she doesn’t just want to depict a swift impression of people, but instead she strives to capture the wealth of their multi-faceted personalities. What is hidden behind the surface of a person? Questions like these guide the artist in her work. She composes a picture of the to-be-portrayed person in her mind’s eye, follows this individual impression using it as the basis of the artistic process. She observes, poses questions and finally draws a picture of the person staging it in such a way following her own perception. The choices and presentation of the poses and outfits in her paintings act very naturalistic and authentic. By means of planar shading of the skin she creates a vivid portraiture of the person. The viewer is automatically drawn to the starting point of her creative process by posing the question of who is hiding behind the portrayed person. Suzan Schuttelaar designs colorful images of the portrayed persons making their character and individual faces as artistic motives of her paintings. Rarely in our present fast moving world do we catch sight of such closely realistic impressions of our fellow men. Daily we are confronted with digital profiles in social networks of people presenting themselves in such a way as they want to be seen by society. Often, in doing so, a kind of social masquerade, a camouflage, originates urging the question whether that is hiding behind this profile what it is promising. This aspect is shown in particular by the choices in materials and techniques of the present works of Suzan Schuttelaar by which she attempts to visualize the multilayer complexity of people. The artist combines the painted portraits with gauze and colored threads interweaving them with the canvas or knotting them. With the originating reticular structures parts of the face are covered. This technique of combining painting and sculpture incorporates dimensionality and vitality in her works. According to Suzan Schuttelaar it is a matter of “Colors doubting whether they want to be paintings or should escape” – Adoption, acceptance and acting out of their own complex identity. (Laura-Claire Haimerl)