Introduction

Arjen Markenstein lives and works in Venlo, the Netherlands. He studied at the Stadsacademie voor toegepaste kunsten in Maastricht and graduated there in 1990.

Arjen Markenstein is inspired by religion and liturgical rituals from the past. This, he translates into the present time, stripped off from their specific religious meaning. He uses the fairly commonplaced (originally Catholic) symbols to express a series of questions inherent to the human race. Fiction and reality go side by side in his work, just as Christian motives and contemporary expressions as tattoos, neon and kitsch.

Markenstein does not announce a religious message with his work, but takes the spectator along in his search for mindsets concerning religion. The accent lies on breaking through stereotype thoughts in a critical or cynical way, or with a sense of humor, built into his sculptures.

Striking is his enormous virtuosity into expressing the human body. His torsos have a strong sensual expression.

The sculptures are being created of thin plates of clay, which are being formed by pushing in and knocking out. This makes each work unique. If you take a close look, you can see Markenstein's fingerprints on it. He doesn't polish the surface smooth to express the structure of the skin. This is accentuated by coloring with engobes and oxides.

Besides being an artist, he teaches sculptural ceramics at the art-centre in Venlo and Venray.

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