"I do not strive for perfection; on the contrary, I try to avoid it because otherwise it undermines the humour.”
Albert Willem is a contemporary figurative artist who lives and works in Brussels. He is best known for his naïve-styled paintings, rich with wit and humour, with a folksy and infantile element to their composition. His subjects are generally light-hearted, deliberately avoiding profound themes, with twists of the humour that is integral to Willem’s practice. His works, usually painted in acrylics on canvas, often show ironic or larger-than-life moments in everyday life: people fighting at a wedding, dancing at a funeral, an infinite conga line. He draws also on humour as an over-compensation for his physiological and emotional fears, both past and present, including highly personal quirks like the panic he feels when confronted by a dance floor. Willem’s paintings encompass a sense of his artistic lineage that can be traced back through the works of LS Lowry, James Ensor and Breugel the Elder, all artists that he greatly admires. Drawing down on Lowry’s artistic sense of normalcy and primitivism, Willem brings a contemporary spin on this style by depicting everyday life, without judgements of right or wrong, in 21st century society. Willem lives and works in Alsemberg, Belgium, and in recent years has exhibited in Lenningen in Germany, in Moscow and in Antwerp.