Stux Gallery is pleased to announce “Identities”, an exhibition of new digital-composite photographic works by Ruud van Empel. This will mark Ruud van Empelʼs seventh solo exhibit at Stux Gallery. Widely recognized and best known for his carefully constructed photo-collages of children in mysterious and otherworldly paradises, his images draw the viewer into a place that is simultaneously illusory and yet undeniably realistic.
Van Empelʼs images tackle the problem of representation with the utilization of highly stylized and idealized images. By stitching together fragments taken from an archive of thousands of images he photographs himself, he offers quite often hyperbolized representations of childhood and identity. One may notice the absence of perspective in his photographs and the flattening of images. With this, in combination with the passive stances of his subjects, van Empel removes the figures of any meaningful contextual framework and assigns the viewer a role of uncertainty. One is presented with oneʼs responsibility in dealing with these idealizations, their relativity and the associated clichés. Devoid of any precisely defined role, the spectator is confronted with his own desires and fears. Closely linked to the genre of portraiture, the moral concept is transformed and oriented towards oneʼs own conscious and self-reflective commentary.
On view through December 20, 2014.
Photographs from the opening reception by Xiaofeng Li