Ruud van Empel
Ruud van Empel was born in Breda in 1958. In the 1970s he studied at the St. Joost Academy of Art in Breda and graduated in 1981. He began making independently produced video tapes in the 1980s. In the late eighties he moved to Amsterdam where he continued developing his career as a visual artist.
He made his international breakthrough with his series ‘World-Moon-Venus’, which was exhibited at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. Until halfway the 1995s Ruud van Empel’s visual art was primarily generated through a process of assembling analogue photographic images. He then exchanges the traditional collage technique through cutting, pasting and retouching in the darkroom for image processing on the computer.
After ‘The Office’ follows in the period between 2000 and 2002 the series ‘Study for women’, a number of women portraits which refer to the art movement of magic realism. In this series, the form language with which he would soon gain worldwide recognition announces itself. The series ‘Study in Green’ from 2003-2004, ‘Untitled’ from 2004, and the three closely related series ‘World’, ‘Moon’ and ‘Venus’, which he started in 2005, represent for Van Empel a true international breakthrough.
Typical of the work of Ruud van Empel is that, right down to the smallest details, he arranges a perfected and idealized version that always – sometimes barely noticeable – has a dark side.