Shame, doubt, fear, joy, longing and loneliness: Rogier Roeters pinpoints exactly where it matters in his work. With incredible speed, he manages to flawlessly reproduce a wide range of universal emotions in his drawings, from laughter to tears. With a few thousand drawings full of concoctions, Roeters’ impressive oeuvre is on display in a museum for the first time. Starting 10 June at Voorlinden, you can discover the multitude, the raw, the abundance, the funny and the unfiltered of his work.
10 June - 24 September 2023
Voorlinden x Rogier Roeters
Can’t get enough of Rogier Roeters? Then treat yourself or someone else to a mug, T-shirt or limited edition print by Rogier, available in Voorlinden’s physical and online museum shop: shopvoorlinden.nl.
Words, images and phrases keep popping up in the mind of Rogier Roeters. In his studio, he captures them with pinpoint accuracy with paint on paper. The drawings keep piling up, but now 2,500 of them have ended up in Voorlinden. There, in the sheer quantity of drawings, you can see what makes Roeters’ work instantly appealing: the abstracted, naively cartoonish style, the colourful palette and the angular scribbles with which he captures his witty phrases. On Instagram, the artist’s absurdist, poetic, humorous and sometimes crude drawings and funny puns are a big hit. Less known are the theatrical videos and neons that are also on display at Voorlinden, which show Roeters’ passion for fashion and performance.
Rogier Roeters: ‘We are all alone in this world. I will never fully understand what you mean and the same applies vice versa. In my drawings, I therefore seek connection; I show what we all feel and that we are all just messing around.’
Roeters works quickly and intuitively to ensure that he can capture the sincerity of the emotion and the spontaneity of the moment. Embarrassment, therefore, is not in the artist’s vocabulary; it is obstructive. Through his openness, he manages to reveal often hidden but universal vulnerabilities while reflecting on our zeitgeist. He highlights emotions that everyone feels, from lust to fear, and shows what he finds funny, like others making up labels for well-known branded products. Also noteworthy is that some of his drawings have a feminist edge and are drawn from a female perspective. ‘Probably because I was largely raised by my mother and sister.’
Director Suzanne Swarts: ‘Rogier Roeters’ work keeps surprising me. Sometimes I feel endearment, then recognition or, conversely, revulsion. Other times I have to laugh loudly.’
Rogier Roeters (1980) lives and works in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. He studied at the Bossche Art Academy and was scouted by the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam, the master’s programme of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, where he immersed himself in performance and film. Under the watchful eye of master magicians Rini Popelier, Leo Smetsers and Henk Arnoldus, he make a professional magician and since 2014 he makes drawings with a combination of seriousness, humour and a preference for creating confusion. On Instagram, his work reaches over 125,000 followers and appeals to teenagers and octogenarians alike. Voorlinden has several drawings by Roeters in its collection.
Head of exhibitions Barbara Bos: ‘In the endless stream of texts and drawings, you can see that Rogier Roeters looks at the world from different angles and dares to be vulnerable and open. As a result, his work has a very unifying effect.’
Build-up Rogier Roeters
Video: Csaba Bogadi (@filmlonely)
Music: Plumm (@plumm.sass)
Header image: Bram Vreugdenhil
Other images: Thomas van Oorschot