RINKE NIJBURG (Lunteren, 1964) focuses in his work on the question what it means exactly to be a human being who seeks to relate to his bestial instincts on the one hand and the divine and the cosmic powers on the other hand. Religion therefore is an important source of interest for his paintings, drawings, mixed media works and installations. In his work Nijburg forges cultural tokens and heritage in the broadest sense - religion, mythology, philosophy, comics, film, fairytales but also social current affairs – into a fascinating cosmology all his own.
Although raised a Protestant, Nijburg finds abundant inspiration in the iconography and ornate traditions of Catholicism and also during the last few years in Eastern ideas and beliefs such as Buddhism and Hinduism.
Rituals and incantations are familiar territory for Nijburg, for astonishing mystical gestures, postures and scenes in painting fascinate Rinke Nijburg: “The title RITUALS rhymes remarkably well with all these on-the-lap-sitting scenes … Keep in mind that the Pietà, Balthus’ ‘The Guitar lesson’ and the Gnadenstuhl have been occupying me for a long time.” (NB: A ‘mercy seat’ is a representation of the Holy Trinity in the Christian iconography.)
Because what do all these and other rituals captured on canvas with paint convey to the viewer and the maker of these images, Nijburg asks himself. What stories these old, new and updated rituals which we use, are telling us about our role in a possibly mystical whole in which rituals exorcise chaos and grant the notion of not-knowing-everything a special beauty and comfort?
Rinke Nijburg studied at Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten, Arnhem (1982-1987), Ateliers Arnhem (1990-1991) and Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam (1993-1994). He was one of the winners of the Koninklijke Subsidie voor Vrije Schilderkunst (1992), Buning Brongers Prijzen (1994), Prix de Rome (1998) and Gelderland Grafiekprijs (1999).