Matthijs (Dutch, 1983)

Painting calms me down.
It allows me to let all the nonsense go.
I create whatever I feel like.
Spontaneously, wild and colourful.
The art is not in thinking, but in just doing it.
If that succeeds, I am free.


The work of Matthijs Scholten is immediately recognizable as a ‘Scholten’ and difficult to classify in a particular style or school. He brings many, partly contrasting components together to create his own new, atypical visual language. Explosions arise from the depth of his psyche, and this is his translation of the chaotic world around him.

Constructivist elements and symbolism come together to form his recognizable style. The urge to establish order out of chaos is present and dominant in all his work. Giving every element of a composition equivalent meaning, his work can at first instance, resemble a large degree of control.

Together with the characteristics of the material, Scholten represents the objective world through the use of a ‘Basquiat-like’ expressionist technique of spontaneity. This explosive connection forms his unique strength. Recognition, ultimately, is subordinate for Scholten, rather it is the emotion that the total image evokes that is most important.

The spectator discovers, in retrospect, the meaning of the iconography used in his works. In this way, Scholten transforms his visions, explosions, and his reality into a completely visual event. Tensions are either about to come to a discharge, or the drama has already happened.

Simply put, Scholten’s works are the turbulent emotions of human existence. Scholten’s combative attitude towards the world around him is evident in his work through his use of colour and shape, making clashes and movements experienced almost palpable.