“The themes I choose are mostly personal; I like to use feelings and show them in an ironic way by exaggerating things or by using colours that are contrasting with the mood,” says Belgium-based visual artist, Geran Knol.
Satire and emotion are key factors amongst Geran’s work. With an aptitude for transferring his passions into art, his most recent exertions follow lonely characters in a detailed series of everyday events. “Throughout the years I started to realise my work often has a sense of loneliness in it, which I then explicitly showed in my latest self-published zine Another Day Well Spent,” Geran tells It’s Nice That. “It shows a man spending time indoors and entertaining himself in strange ways to pass time.”
“I’m now working on a series of collages with characters that are sitting on and getting supported by elements that are abstract shapes. It also has a sense of loneliness in them by the act of supporting yourself. As it’s a series, I get to play more with colours and shapes within a fixed theme – before, my drawings were mainly showing one particular situation.”
The outcome is a combination of figurative and intangible lines with a clear depiction of his persona shining through. Rather that direct storytelling – or a clear narrative – Geran illustrates his view on the world. To transfer these particular thoughts into art, he presents certain feelings through “situations [from] daily life that can be painfully awkward and those which people prefer to forget,” he says. “I like how by using little notions certain things can be told, and I try not to be too explanatory in my work.”
Having studied Illustration Design at ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Netherlands, Geran learnt how to develop a unique approach to illustration by using printed matter. “Although I mostly work with analogue materials the outcome always became a digital alteration of it,” he explains. “I wanted to step away from that by making a series of collages in a more painterly approach.”
Post-studies, Geran has succeeded his mediums with the use of work on paper and a mechanical pencil: “This can be a sketch for a collage or a work on its own. I like the charm of a drawing; it shows the hand of the person that made it and its delicate lines.” Further to this, Geran has also collaborated with a long-term friend, Bloeme van Bon, to produce Park Pardon – a graduate project-turned-creative platform for them both to express their artistic means without any boundaries. “Park Pardon is a platform for us with which we can do anything, from making a comic book to masks and it all fits in a disconcerting visual language that is a combination of our individual work,” he says. “Often art can be very serious but we want to be taken seriously by making allegedly light-hearted work.”