Cecile van Hanja
"The transparent layered structure of the painting intensifies the depth and confusion."
Cecile van Hanja fits more uncomfortable emptiness onto one canvas than anyone you know. Cold lines draw the viewer into converging perspectives, creeping out anything with a soul. Despite the use of color and mid-century coziness, van Hanja somehow puts monsters in every corner, just out of sight, menacing and omnipresent. But the monster is not a demon or beast–it is emptiness. And you feel it in your chest if you look long enough. Maybe it was always there. “These anonymous environments generate suspense–the feeling that behind every door, around every corner, a possible threat awaits,” says van Hanja.
There is no one there. Where are they? Like a nightmare missed appointment or urban post-apocalypse. Like Hopper and Hockney had a painting baby. But is anything really wrong? Is it just me? This is what the absent inhabitants of van Hanja’s paintings say right before they are consumed by the monster of emptiness.
Is that what you see? PotatoMike is honored to support van Hanja. Buy her work so she can eat.
EXCLUSIVE WORK BY CÉCILE VAN HANJA: