Robbert Fortgens (1960) was trained at the Rietveld Academy and began his career choosing realistic painting as a starting point. In his paintings Fortgens creates a gesture that encloses composition, movement and emotion. He does not claim complicated games of form and color, looking for balance of opposite forces.
He started combining paintings with photography in 2008. The combination of these materials and the techniques enabled the artist to create strong images, in which two elements of equal importance, are in perfect balance. Where the photographs emphasize the hustle and the bustle of our daily lives, the paintings show inner peace and quietness. As a result, the thick brushstrokes are sleek and shiny on the linen, while the photos get a pictorial dimension through the use of oil painting. Fortgens´ work clearly contains two contrasting visions. The photographic realism, in which the emphasis lies on the exact viewing of the visual motifs, and on the other side the abstract expressions, emphasizing free, spontaneous and personal emotional expression. To express his feelings and to deal with his emotions.
The artist spent long time in southern countries where his palette was invaded by warm colors. Through his encounters with local people, towns and landscapes he met realism in photography. The inspiration for the abstract artworks comes from his surroundings and stories of his life. He paints expressive compositions built with wide painted surfaces and brushstrokes. In Fortgens work there are no views of the reality, but there are impressions of his daily existence.