With his paintings and murals Arthur Stokvis leads the viewer into an intense visual experience. The works combine images and colours that battle for the concentration of the viewer, charge up each other and by this push the visual experience, attract and repel.
During his residency at the Calcutta Art Research Foundation Arthur started working with the way the city is overflown with painting in public space. Symbols and signs, full on loaded, meander through the streets and across the facades. Fluorescent flowers fight with hammer and sickles in a hallucinatory clash.
Finding his way through the maze of the city, hunting for graffiti, Arthur discovered strange codes and diagrams stating the sun goes around the earth. It was the work of mister K. C. Paul, an Indian Army veteran sending his message on the streets for 40 years. Sometimes you could read the pamphlets shouting: All scientists are fooled! It was this critique that triggered Arthur even more and these writings and drawings became motive in his works.
It unsettles, is either brilliant or disconnected and it is this energy Arthur can identify in art. It goes against convenient methods, criticizes what everybody takes for real. To challenge all of this is what attracts him. And it is Calcutta as a city that gives room and birth to the strange, the free, to the extreme thought. Bearing in mind how Dadaist Kurt Schwitters put it, Everything is true, but also its opposite.
The residency at the Calcutta Art Research Foundation was supported by the Mondriaan Fund.
Arthur Stokvis (1981, NL) lives and works in Amsterdam. After graduating from the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen he obtained his MFA in 2010 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. His work is exhibited in The Netherlands and abroad, among CC Mechelen/De Garage (Belgium), Arti et Amicitiae (Amsterdam) and Pilotenkueche (Leipzig, Germany).