Emo Verkerk (Amsterdam, 1955) has his feet firmly planted in the Dutch painting tradition. His work tends towards total anarchy and regularly balances on the edge of a cliff, sometimes almost going over the brink, but in the end everything always lands on its feet, exactly where you would want it to be.
His work is shamelessly convincing. In the paintings of Emo Verkerk each note takes an unexpected turn, like in improvisational jazz. When Verkerk paints his constructed reality, he takes it in unexpected directions. He enriches and deepens painting with disarming and colorful images which make conceptual thinking pale in comparison. The work that originates from his humorous and philosophical studio practice is without comparison. In times of epigonism and crude rhetorical devices this is a considerable achievement.
Emo Verkerk is like a landlord behind the bar at a people's palace where not only Bep and Wout, but also Joseph Roth, Frank Zappa and Charles Ives are lovingly serenaded. He feels at home in a world where kitsch, reflections and projections all have the same specific weight. He practices a democratic form of painting that offers all kinds of opportunities. When Emo Verkerk paints, he moves in certain directions and paints about certain movements. In doing so he demonstrates that contemporary painting still holds plenty of unexplored possibilities.
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