Bob De Groof's expressive investigation focuses on contemporary society. His study is an exponent of an international subculture. Bob De Groof's visionary expressionistic painting shows the revolted human being's tragical situation in our chaotic world and voices the conflict situation of the individual who is strongly charged with aggressivity and who is torn between insight and sensivity in an organised technological society, which are parameters of Bob De Groof's visionary and swift impassion of the mind.
From the pictural point of view, Bob De Groof is inspired by historical Expressionism, American Abstract Expressionism with Action Painting and Dripping, but the content is contemporary.
It is expressionistic because Bob De Groof's art implies a movement from the artist's inside towards the outside, towards reality. The artist dives into reality, absorbs it, assimilates it and subjectivizes it in the process of creation. This movement requires the artist's total comittement to reality, reality in the broad sense of the word.
Nevertheless, Bob De Groof neither produces art that analyses, nor does he produce art with a thematic approach. His paintings want to seduce starting from an exhibitionistic and provoking arrangement. There are clear bonds for that matter with anarchistic subculture that expresses itself in Rock, Hip Hop, Rap, pictural graffiti, comics (which besides, is a medium where Bob De Groof also plays an active role) and likewise there are ties with the universe of William Burroughs, an American author. A universe that I evoke by using words such as fear, violence, drugs, kicks, eros-thanatos, extraordinary states of awareness, obsessions, narcotic fixations, always brought by means of the exhibitionism of graffitis.
We can see the emergence of presences in his recent work. These are frivolous, but fatal phantoms who, once called into being, never will disappear again into the space they come from. Bob De Groof less visualizes his explosive, apocalyptical, hectic and exalted visions, he rather holds back and selects moments of violence and tenderness, of destruction and madness, of cherished longings and desires, in strong, tense but anarchistic compositions. He paints "Une réalité terriblement supérieure à toute réalité", just like Antonin Artaud, the visionary poet wrote it. We are immediately affected by the chaotic phantoms, the frightening faces, the desperate eyes and the gibberish of mutilated members. Antropmorphous, inconstant creatures rise out of the chaos and they metamorphose. The phantoms seem to be involved in fights and they find themselves on the borderline of disintegration. The entire emphasis in the composition lies on movement and rhythm, caused by violent steaks of colour and brushes and powerful and refined coloration. Bob De Groof is a colourist in heart and soul. The almost hypnotic attraction of the tormented phantoms is determined by subtle ranges of colouring. The flood, the invasion of glittering and twinkling colour vibrations, the energetic tremblings of the powerful colours and the apparent quick and uninhibited realisation give an intense and a compelling value of the image to his works.
But the matter of paint itself also coagulates and it creates unsettled forms in the phantomatic space. Compositionally, the works are riddled with forms of the manieristic counter-entry in a self-willed way, the twisted figures of 16th century painting find themselves in a hallucinatory game of movement and contrast, but they are now transposed into the urban jungle of the end of the millennium. The devilish rhythm of the phantoms resounds again and again in the observer's mind because the pictural space remains enigmatic in its tensions and its disintegration. After all, it is the space of metamorphosis, of look-alikes, of pulsations of moods, of idiosyncrasies with which every human being is cursed. Bob De Groof is the clever and talented painter of the chaos of authentic human existence.