Johan Van Mullem (Belgian painter born in 1959) persisted in his youthful search for wrinkled faces, seeking the beauty he recognized in an experience engraved on the faces and in the hands. Since then, the face remains the major subject of his work but over time reversing the imprint of it on his own face while these subjects seem to rejuvenate, disappearing or emerging in a halo of light in an old-fashioned sfumato, offering the gaze an escape into the world of emotion, because Johan van Mullem's work is an invitation to introspection, to a journey whose omnipresent emotional charge cannot leave indifferent as the depth is often dizzying. The superimposition and erasure of the very many smooth layers of the diluted inks further accentuates this feeling of inexpressible presence on the canvas. The self-taught mastery of the specific and unique technicality of his work because only executed in etching ink (an extension of his experience as an engraver) gives his work an additional exceptional character. Complete artist, designer, painter and sculptor, (but also poet and musician) Johan Van Mullem strives to create a multiple, diverse but absolutely coherent work offering links and bridges to all our senses awakened by this work that projects as much into the past as into a contemporaneity.
Johan's work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in many important collections