Robert Vellekoop's painting manages the balancing act between abstraction and figurativeness with a remarkable ease. Without having to choose a side, the pictures will approach a radical reduction of pictograms in the form of monotone still lifes and landscapes.
A repetitive motif can be found in the luminous lanterns, the icing on the road edges and their light seems to defend against the chilling cold environment. The locations, which are characterized by a monochrome background, have an almost dystopian character and thus manage, in spite of their enormous abstraction, to evoke a strong emotion in the viewer.
Unusual is also the substrate on which Vellekoop's work is created. He works with blockboards on which he applies several layers of acrylic and varnish, only to remove, paint, sand and varnish. The structure of the wood that serves as the ground for the image leads to an unpredictability and randomness that seems to stand in contrast to the systematic composition of the picture. However, just this connection creates a surreal moment that could not be further from a pictogram. (Nele Müller)