The artwork of Netherlands based artist Joram Roukes is a literal 'car crash' of assorted western phenomena: Roukes perhaps creates his characters with such heavily layered imagery to hint at an identity swallowed underneath the chaotic iconography of consumerism. In fact, it seems that the only thing knitting the images together is Roukes' intriguing motif of destructive and violent collision, often depicted in his drawings by upended or at least severely damaged vehicles.
Roukes is clearly obsessed by anthropomorphism, too: his pieces frequently depict grotesque human bodies with the heads of intensely vulnerable animals, producing images which pivot between terror and hilarity. What also makes these pieces so effective is that they don't preach; Roukes doesn't necessarily go out of his way to expose the flaws of his society, but instead he observes, allowing us to determine our own position amid the insanity.
In fact, Roukes' balance between the dark and the humorous is so pitch perfect that you just don't know whether to laugh or cry. That awkward tension is where the true success of his work lies.
It's no surprise Roukes is becoming hugely popular over here in the UK, especially with his recent solo show, Oils, at urban art gallery Signal in East London. He's got that sardonic but playful and seductive air of Antony Micallef about him, whilst still producing his own unique and robust aesthetic identity.
He's also a really cool guy to chat with, which is a bonus. He offered me some enlightening pearls of wisdom recently about the virtual impossibility of getting galleries to notice you...Thanks mate!
In the meantime, I have no doubt we will see big movements from this guy in the future, I can quite easily see him up in the ranks with the likes of Micallef and Dan Baldwin.
Check him out: http://joramroukes.blogspot.co.uk/