Through her bleached and minimal paintings, Chantal van Houten manages to powerfully evoke love and separation, pain and fear – things that make us who we are. An alumna of the Academy of Media and Art in Amsterdam and former graphic designer, she says: “Art for me is about bringing emotion. I love it when a painting really gets to you, gives you a little tickling. The image leads to imagination and comes alive for the person who looks at it. I also want people to think harder about certain subjects, issues that can’t be denied…like our humanity. I want people to consider the matter that I have portrayed and then spend some time in self-reflection.”
You see Chantal’s characters in simple expressions and everyday postures. And yet there is something timeless about the way they are depicted. The moments on display have been carefully and delicately chosen from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Chantal finds the painters Francis Bacon (British), Sam Dillemans (Belgian) and Marlene Dumas (South African-born, Netherlands-based) truly inspirational. She loves looking at their works every once in a while. While painting, she enjoys listening to music. The bands The Blue Nile (Scottish), Counting Crows (American), War on Drugs (American) are her favourite.