Brecht Vandenbroucke, one of the most recent additions to the roster of Nobrow artists, works in the true tradition of his Flemish predecessors, vast and complex paintings detailing everything from the apocalypse to the mundanities of everyday life. His stunning use of colour and adeptness with printmaking made him a prime target for Nobrow activities from the first time we saw his work on Flickr, via a small 20px squared portrait on a comment box of someone else’s Flickr photostream. Yes, it was a strange way to come across such great work, but that’s why its so great…
We recently asked Brecht to talk a bit about his work, here’s what he had to say: “I am a ginger artist currently living in Ghent (Belgium). I am 24. I make comics, paintings, drawings, zines, movies etc… I love art. I am interested in popular culture, happiness, insanity, surrealism, loneliness, death and alienation. Drawing is very lonely. But I also like fun, fun is good. I’ve been making stuff all of my life and I guess I will continue doing it until the day I die. life is too short, there is not enough time to do everything I want to and I find that sometimes a bit depressing.”
When asked what inspires and informs his work, Brecht says “Ideas pop in to my head all the time, So I write them down. I write a lot. The moment I have an idea I see the entire image in my head. But then I look for more information on the subject to avoid cliches. the right colour/car/computer/furniture/plants,/guitar, etc… Everything has to be right. I like pulling stuff from reality into my work. I used to work with a sketchbook and make detailed compositions and sketches of everything but I found it much easier lately to paint the images immediately, and just see what comes out. It’s easy as I can erase mistakes whenever I want.
Talking about his influences, Brecht elaborates: “I like lots of artists and illustrators but I think I’ve been mostly influenced by the work of Mark Beyer, ATAK, Charlotte Solomon, Topor, Henry Darger, David Shrigley, Daisuke Ichiba and Glen Baxter. They rock. But I also love Disney and crappy comics. I love culture in all forms, I don’t see a difference between pop culture and underground culture.”