Dutch artist Jade van der Mark explores the 'disconnect of city life' in her monumental paintings

© Jade van der Mark. All images courtesy of the artist.

One of the most exciting young artists to come out of the Dutch art scene, Jade van der Mark uses thick coats of oil paint to give life to her large-scale paintings.

Rich in detail, texture and complexity, the often abstract and bold coloured artworks explore what she describes as an "overwhelming sense of disconnect that resonates globally".

Her jaded characters seem to look past each other in crowded scenes, often with glazed expressions. There seem to be hundreds of city dwellers on each canvas, each distinguished by lively clothing and colourful faces, moving around in all directions. With almost no negative space between them, individuals remain fully engrossed in their own worlds, often shielded by phones, headphones and even pollution masks.

There are hidden stories behind each of Van der Mark's works, which encourage us to deeply reflect on our own lives. You can also see multiple layers, as though she has altered and painted over a dozen other scenes. Some artworks take more than eight months to complete.

Van der Mark was born in the town of Bergen, which is often regarded as an artists' town due to its remarkable natural light. Home to the Bergen School of painters in the early 20th century, Bergen has been referred to as the birthplace of Dutch expressionism.

Speaking of her art, she says: "It's something that's part of my life, my paint tubes are my friends and my canvases are my words. They are a scream for society, my life lessons, my inner part. For me, painting is an attempt to be understood, to survive in this world, a lifestyle helping to stay true to myself. Painting is strongly connected with who I am, its functions as a mirror to myself and to my audience."

Expect a solo show in London in 2020. Watch this space via jadevandermark.com.

© Jade van der Mark

© Jade van der Mark

© Jade van der Mark

© Jade van der Mark

© Jade van der Mark

© Jade van der Mark