Merijn Verhelst (b. 1991, Leuven) is a self-taught Belgian artist currently based in Brussels. His work is deceivingly simple, at once playful and naïvely melancholic, sometimes scatological yet very much layered in sophistication. Distinct throughout his overwhelming, obtrusive sculptural paintings, his tone is at once oddly humorous and emotionally charged.
Verhelst intuitively conceives optically dazzling works, until all the separate pieces of wood, marks, lines, and forms unite into a singular world. This non-representational universe ultimately initiates a dialogue between the abundance of neon colors and formalist aesthetic, all-the-while acting as an entry point into his child imagination – a childhood freezer filled with popsicles alongside hints of secret passageways. Combining a sense of craftsmanship with select flattened brushstrokes, his X-ray, precise abstract language is a subtle combination of elements of pop art and minimalism.
Recent exhibitions include the Art strEAT solo exhibition (2019) and m0(ve)ment group show (2017) as part of Life of L (Belgium).