Michaël Borremans
Black Mould/Juggling with Fiery Limbs

Michaël Borremans’ Black Mould series (2015) depicts a group of hooded and unidentifiable figures. The subjects are clothed in black robes, inspired by a paradoxical combination of Japanese Bunraka theatre costumes, Catholic Church dress, and black Ku Klux Klan clothing. The series is dark and ominous, reflecting what the artist considers to be the macabre reality of contemporaneity. Throughout the series, the subjects engage in perceived taboos: anal sex, or acts of violence, such as in Juggling with Fiery Limbs, as the title suggests, juggling with the limbs of a dead body. Predominant throughout the series is the presence of human flesh, which provokes an observation of the mystery of human relations and our twisted games. The series was painted while listening to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, with the song Black Mould inspiring the series.

Michael Borremans’ work includes drawings, paintings, and film that explore the absurdity of existence through their surreal imagery. His work, in its intimacy, and by his painterly gests, draws reference to Velásquez, Goya, and Manet. Currently based in Ghent, the artist focuses on imagination and symbolism in his work. Interweaving fluidity and opaque solidarity, Borremans provokes a haunting, nightmarish atmosphere in this oeuvre. His work often includes sombre figures, grotesque and dark imagery that is at once beautiful and disturbing. It is the unsettling ambiguity of the work that offers viewers space for their own idiosyncratic interpretations, rousing personal perspectives and life experiences imbued into the tableau.