The Magic of Charcoal. Rinus Van de Velde, Rising Star in the Flemish Art World

(Jan Van Hove) THE LOW COUNTRIES - 2016, № 24, PP. 226-233

‘A James Dean skilled with charcoal’ is how one critic characterised Rinus Van de Velde at the start of his career. It was an apt comparison, because this young artist displays an almost provocative virtuosity. A lot of hype soon developed around his work, which consists mainly of monumental charcoal drawings. Wherever he exhibited, collectors, curators, critics and enthusiasts fell under the spell of his images, the insistent presence of his figures and the obvious skill with which it is all put down on paper. But what lies at the heart of this fantasy world? Why does the artist himself appear as a character in almost all his works? And where does one situate these drawings in the adventurous art scene that has managed to reach out from Flanders to an international audience in recent decades?

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