In Van Stenis’ expressionistic figurative works he uses mottled pastel colours against backgrounds of flat, muted tones. They depict surreal scenes on the verge of abstraction. Frequently the armature of a drawing is visible between scrubby tiles of colour. His subjects seem to be dissembling, their features almost unrecognisable. The works indicate the constitution of identity from an assemblage of impermanent elements. His subjects are gentle frankensteins, composed from clumps of fur, glutinous paint and beady glass eyes.
Van Stenis’ confers a softness onto these scenes of disintegration and reformation by rendering them in peachy oranges, mint greens and Naples yellows. Recurring in his large-scale compositions are motifs of the beseeching domestic hound, the interplay of nakedness and nudity and the surreality of identity.