Welcome to the “Floating Freaks” show by Mathijs Vissers
words by Robert McCormick
“You could use a tiny bit of crazy!” is Mathijs Vissers’s welcome to his website. Damn skippy. We could all use a tiny bit (more) of crazy. For some of us, we grow up, work for the man, and vote down a party line while tamping down the crazy to assimilate into society. Remember that crazy, that freedom, we had when we were young? Vissers never lost that part of him.
“Like most kids I was always drawing, and I just kept on drawing,” Vissers says. “Having three older sisters and an older brother, I got to see a lot of weird movies and cartoons, which sort of shaped the things I drew. I loved making random stuff, weird for the sake of weirdness. As I grew older the weird sometimes turned into strange and bizarre, like some of the things I create these days. But there’s still plenty of crazy in there.”
One of his recent bizarre projects is called “Floating Freaks,” which he describes as, “a group of scary characters from a freak show, all with their own haunting facial features.” He packs so much emotion into these works that the imagery haunts but also gives the viewer a tinge of melancholy for the sympathy felt for these tragic figures. While we await for a reader to get one of these characters inked in black and grey you can purchase one (“The Visionary”) on a T-shirt from threadless.com.
We can’t stop staring at his work. His output ranges from colourful work lampooning Adventure Time and Chuck Norris to bringing a unicorn skull to life…err…death…that was inspired by Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of World. “It’s a fascinating thing, a skull,” he says of all skulls in general. “I’m not sure if it’s morbid curiosity, or the reminder that everyone ends up that way eventually, but there’s just something to them. Death is an interesting concept as nobody is entirely sure what happens to a person when they die.”
Good art deals with subjects. Great art leads the viewer toward concepts.
“I suppose [what I want people to take away from my work] is essentially a sense of wonder,” Vissers says. “I want them to get lost in the little details and discover more each time they view something.”