Michaël Borremans, The Pope (2020). Oil on canvas. 60 x 40 cm. Courtesy Zeno X Gallery.
Michaël Borremans is one of the most exciting contemporary artists working today.
Represented by Zeno X Gallery in Belgium, his solo show Coloured Cones is currently exhibiting at their space in Antwerp until 20 February.
Coloured Cones was a product of his time in lockdown in his studio outside Ghent. Not able to work from models, these still-life works were conjured from various coloured and shaped satin fabric samples found in his studio—the choice of fabric a nod to sitters' clothing in Western portrait paintings.
In conversation with Ocula Magazine contributor Diana d'Arenberg prior to his 2018 solo show at David Zwirner Hong Kong, Borremans spoke of the figures in his portraits resembling a still life; posed, passive, and frozen, creating an atmosphere of suspense.
What makes the works in this exhibition so interesting is how each individual satin cone takes on a character of its own, becoming portraits in their own right.
The Pope, pictured here, is an ode to Velaquez's renowned portrait of Pope Innocent X produced circa 1650.