Rombout Oomen (Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1975) is a professional visual artist. He is a graduate from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the Hague, the Netherlands. He has travelled extensively through Europe, India, China, Laos, South Africa, the United States and Canada and has worked in Berlin, Germany, and Helsinki, Finland. He currently lives and works in Amsterdam.
His inspiration derives mainly from daily news items and images which he transfigures according to his own taste and liking.
“The art I create is an expression of how I see and experience the world around me. Geo-politics and human behaviour in Western societies interest me a great deal. The form of my work originates from an ever expanding archive of newspaper and internet photographs. What I find really catching usually has a link with the images of the period of ‘Enlightenment’ in eighteenth century Europe. I transfigure these images to a personal expression of my own rational and inner vision.
The title to a work of art is an intellectual statement of the idea. The actual painting is an inner one. Therefore the painting and the title complement each other. The inner individualistic vision is fully free to express whatever needs to be expressed and how it needs to be expressed. To conceive a successful work of art, I work from my own inner vision in order to execute the idea as boldly as possible without any obstructions or restrictions.
Without this comprehension, art to me, as an artist, becomes a matter of mere technical exercise. The creation of art stems from an inner, individualistic vision by means of a technique, painting and drawing in my case, unhindered by formal concepts. This is how I experience art and painting.”
About the artist by Bas Kok, Dutch historian and journalist
The work of Rombout Oomen (Amsterdam, 1975) finds itself on a cutting edge of opposites. The compositions of Oomen’s paintings seem to be inspired by the period of the Enlightenment. But in the performances of its scenes, cool rationalism is the only absentee. The light that shines in his work is flaming and dangerous. The people portrayed entered somewhere in the eighteenth century at Jacques-Louis David’s revolutionary and thrilling environment. Perfumed, well cut and fit, they began celebrating a decent and enlightened ball. In Rombout Oomen’s work, they finish possessed, stuffed and tired without illusions in a bacchanal where they never found the exit. Unhinged in a circus carousel that led them drunk through the night. No reason, love or salvation remains. Only worn out lust and grotesque concepts, which perhaps give moments of thrill and instant happiness – but do not ask for how long.
Rombout Oomen likes to paint in series. Such as his “Slumberland Manifesto”. Often he chooses large formats – wall paintings, factory size cloths in industrial buildings or just one side of a skyscraper – such as his Swan on the A’DAM-tower on the river IJ in Amsterdam. Work that does not hesitate to rather shout out something, though that call is more ambiguous than you think. As the work of Oomen is expressive, it is never noisy. If you take the time to study his euphoric pictures you will discover somewhere hidden a hushed poignant element. You’re going to suspect that in the darkest corner of his work a romantic element lays bare. As has been said: the cutting edge of contradictions.