Borg de Nobel artist 11-11-1965, Zeist, Netherlands
Outa circulation ‘til the dogs get tired”, “Look what comes crawling out of the woodworks”, “Horses’ and cows’ tales” or “Even the sun’s lethargic” – what does this even mean? one might ask. However, just like all good stories, a spiritual paradox or poem, New York, Berlin & Amsterdam trained Dutch artist Borg de Nobel’s artworks aren’t as ‘simple’ as they look at first. There is just enough in the layers on layers of recognisable imagery, truncated words, the seemingly hastily drawn or scratched symbols to invite us to start engaging with the image, to start an inner dialogue with the work and thus with the artist, transcending a bit, or at least connecting. To be sure, at first glance, de Nobel’s artworks have a chaotic, even surreal quality to them, like Jean Michel Basquiat paintings, but minus the visual aggression. Her skilful, confident handling of composition and variety of materials and colours as well as the bold editing of her images always leave one assured of the solidity of her vision and craft. Her images, which appear sometimes hazy, then crisp, her symbols next to odd creature cartoons and metaphors, wanton words and denuded visual spaces puzzle the viewer, who may become lost as in a dream, but a dream contained within the safe parameters of the picture. Similar to for instance Squeak Cornwath or Tracey Emin, Borg de Nobel is a courageous, honest, outspoken artist who employs expressionistic and street art features in any material she deems suitable: Be it oil paint, charcoal, spray paint, acrylic paint or flotsam, she turns them into visual poetry about her take on our beautiful, but also complex and seemingly crazy world with unabashed lack of orthodoxy, dry wit and cheeky humour.
Marianne Kaspar, BFA (UNSW), Bachelor of Fine Arts (University of New South WalesMAT (WSU) Master or Art Therapy (Western Sydney University), Australia