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‘Artist Ruud van Empel (Breda, 1958) makes collages of self-made photos that he combines using Photoshop to create an idealized representation. In fact, with familiar elements he presents a world with which we are not acquainted. We have only the image that is dished up to us by Van Empel in the minutest detail. You could perhaps refer to this work as ‘illusionary’ but, at the same time, his images have an unparalleled reality content. Nevertheless, you never encounter anything like this in real life. These unheard and unseen features make them delusionary. This apparent conflict determines the quality of his work and its appreciation to a large extent. In Van Empel’s work, illusion is a paradox.’

De Nieuwe/January 2015 (Art Magazine of the Arti et Amicitiae Association)
The illusion as paradox/ By Alex de Vries


‘Beeldend kunstenaar Ruud van Empel (Breda, 1958) maakt collages met zelfgemaakte foto’s die hij op de computer met elkaar combineert tot een geïdealiseerde voorstelling. In feite presenteert hij met bekende elementen een wereld die we niet kennen. We hebben er enkel de voorstelling van die ons door Van Empel tot in de miniemste details wordt voorgeschoteld. Je zou zijn werken illusies kunnen noemen, maar tegelijkertijd hebben zijn voorstellingen een ongehoord realiteitsgehalte.
Toch tref je zijn verbeeldingen in de werkelijkheid nooit als zodanig aan. Dat ongehoorde en ongeziene maakt ze dan weer zinsbegoochelend. Die ogenschijnlijke tegenstrijdigheid bepaalt in hoge mate de kwaliteit van zijn werk en de waardering ervoor. Bij hem is de illusie een paradox.’

De Nieuwe/Januari 2015 (Kunstmagazine van Maatschappij Arti et Amicitiae)
De illusie als paradox/Door Alex de Vries

His works are AMAZING and he is Dutch. His subjects are people of color. Trained as a graphic designer, van Empel is known for using Photoshop and other computer programs in his works. He usually photographs several models and takes images of animals, plants, and other items in nature before using computer software to combine those elements. Many museums around the world have included his work as part of a permanent collection, including the C-Photo Collection in London, England, the Chaney Collection in Houston, TX, and The Generali Foundation in Vienna, Austria. His series Study in Green, which showed children in various tropical settings, is now available as a book.

And you can see his digital works at the AIPAD Art Fair at the Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street.

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