Motmans balances between figurative and abstract, complexity and a – deceitful – simplicity. The fragile works seem to feed on romanticism as well as minimalism. It shows a sense of great tenderness and sensuality but also of apprehension. Of a slight fear to possibly lose something. The artist puts his identity, personality, personal experiences and dreams first in his collages. Landscapes and male figures are recurring themes. Not surprisingly as during his childhood Gert struggled with his sexuality and found protection and security in nature where seclusion and daydreaming allowed him to escape from reality. From this body of work speaks a fascination with time. Motmans’ pictures express a desire for another world. A longing for familiarity and at the same time his images seem to embrace a threatening, futuristic vision. As if Marcel Proust glances at Henry David Thoreau while a young Brian Eno watches cheerfully and provides the scene with soft rustling sounds. For “Now it’s day but I am dreaming” he freely uses negatives from holiday pictures and slides from his parents’ collection. Motmans’ basis is thus built on personal memories and experiences he had as a young boy. They are fragmented impressions of travels, often to the south of Europe. Assumably these images will also evoke in the viewer echoes from the past. Of discolored holiday snaps. This effect is intensified by combining his own images with snippets from nostalgic postcards. Now it’s day but I am dreaming shows new surreal landscapes balancing between blurred visions and feverish hallucinations. The artist repeatedly plays with the horizon. Occasionally by roughly tearing the photographic papers, or exactly the opposite by marking or cutting it in a sharp line. And so mountains fuse with oceans, forests with ice floes. Graceful bodies merge with sturdy but equally delicate landscapes. It is nostalgic and futuristic at the same time. Happy but perhaps also a bit sad.-Ive Stevenheydens-
GERT MOTMANS (b. Hasselt, Belgium) graduated from the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where he still lives and works as a visual artist and fashion designer. Feeling the need to express himself through imagery he later attended photography classes at the same Art Academy. In 2018 he created FRNCS Studio—“FRNCS” (pronounced “Francis”) is an acronym for “fragments and collected instants”—a project combining photography and collage where personal nostalgia, natural, sacred and architectural themes are merged into surreal compositions.