The beginning and starting point of Erwin Van den Brande’s works are images, movies, objects and scenes from everyday life that amaze, inspire or bring him piece of mind.

It is all about man’s quest for tranquillity, aestheticism, for “being” instead of “doing”, for confirmation and structure in our life. This often reveals humanity’s pettiness and a sense of absurdity.

Erwin Van den Brande’s images intend to derive reality of its context and thus render it timeless. He portrays reality as he experiences it, not as he or we see it. This allows him to distance himself from the actual world and from society. The images’ aim is to create an idyll and a utopia: a space for reflection, contemplation and tranquillity. A stimulus to daydream.

The female theme is a vital feature in his work. He likes to let them daydream and ponder. Often they are (semi-)naked and wearing lots of make-up. The women seem to be absent and this is emphasized by being unrecognisable, staring down, the closed eyes or the fetal position.

The common thread through his work is nostalgia, with which he connects the “past” to the “present”. This nostalgia is emphasized both thematically and formally. For example, by means of reusing existing images, desaturating colours, playing with focus and highlighting elements from the past.  Digital collages complete this by using the various aspects of a topic in one image.

Erwin Van den Brande’s images have a clear and defined line, are abstract and focus on the essence. The colours are desaturated to combine the strengths of both colour and black-white pictures.

With their vast aesthetic appeal, Erwin Van den Brande’s images want to take the spectator on a journey of reflection and contemplation.


Roxanne Vaessen