When you first lay your eyes on one of Christian Rex van Minnen's paintings, it can become hard to look away. And while you're mind is working out what this Santa Clara based painter has presented on a canvas, a variety of conflicting emotions are often brought to the surface. Confusion, repulsion, curiosity, shock—just to name a few. His work combines classic portraiture, with techniques that reference the Flemish forefathers' of the Dutch Golden Age, with juxtaposing textures, shapes, and images.
In many of his works, van Minnen takes inspiration from tattoo culture, with approaches varying from new school to Japanese to garage-style stick-n-poke. The tattoos van Minnen infuses into his works help to convey a message, theme, or emotion of the subject—often speaking directly to the sensibilities of modern popular culture. It's easy to draw comparisons between van Minnen's designs and SoundCloud rappers, whether or not their similarity was intentional.
Take a look at some of our favorite works by van Minne in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on his paintings in the gallery below? Which is your favorite piece? How do his paintings make you feel? Do you expect to have nightmares tonight?