Toon Berghahn uses all kinds of materials in his paintings. On top of wooden panels, often many different layers of paint are combined: oil, acrylic and industrial paints. But you will also find pieces of cloth and wood or other rough materials attached to the surface. Apart from the classical brush, Berghahn makes use of unorthodox instruments like drills or hairdryers. It all results in a dazzling image, raising questions of what is real and what is not.
In a former series, Berghahn showed images of museum interiors. The walls often decorated with huge abstract paintings, full of grandeur. But besides these echoes of modernism, the large rooms are empty and rather sinister. They lack the presence of people – or it would have to be us, the spectators.
In his new work, Berghahn leaves the static space of the museum interior behind and explores a new world with different objects, like a tall ship, a pile of books, or a photo camera. Objects that tell us stories, like poems or old photographs. In another new series of three-dimensional works, Berghahn breaks new ground by breaking out of the frame of the painting, literally creating space.www.toonberghahn.nl