Pieter Lerooji (BE)
Text written by GHA
In his ironic oil paintings, Pieter Lerooij confronts the viewer with bizarre and surrealistic scenarios whose protagonists are anthropomorphic animals.
Pieter Lerooij’s artistic research led him to experiment with different techniques such as etching and painting. Through different media, Leroij explores similar subjects. The artist confronts the viewer with bizarre and surrealistic scenarios. The protagonists of his pictures are anthropomorphic animals, acting like humans. The theatrical compositions of Lerooij’s pictures show irony about society, hitting the viewer on a subconscious level.
Both in his etchings and in his paintings, Lerooij manages to create a new world, a new imagination, made by creatures with animal heads and human bodies that play humans and are involved in the most absurd actions.They inscribe the topic of confronting reality through eccentric and imaginary scenarios by portraying repetitive figures of human-looking animals that challenge the viewer.
Lerooij works address society’s hurry to achieve success. The artist seems to make us stop and think about society. Lerooij describes with humor the harsh reality of our times, which pressures us to be competitive. A high level of individualism in our cultural society is here portrayed. The characters depicted by the artist seem to have lost their identity, acting as a brainless mass even though divided in different groups. They seem lost in mass hysteria. Through his depiction of society, Lerooij questions democracy and conformity.His works persuade us to reflect on common places and public spaces scenarios where we often interact with each other aggressively.
The oil paintings Lerooij presented for Fresh Legs 2020/SCOUT 2020 offer a great example of the absurd world the painter creates. For instance, in “The Jury” a man with a wolf head submits a dog to a jury made of men with monkey heads. These creatures proceed to check the dog and seem to give their opinion about his physical appearance. Lerooij’s compositions make the viewer reflect about society and human beings’ nature.
The Jury Tea for all of us