“Some people are never satisfied.” It’s a phrase which carries a negative connotation, but those in the creative industries recognise that trait as an important driving force in their work. Joram Roukes is a painter who likes to keep moving forward, and the Dutchman has called many places home in his 32 years so far. Currently based in Los Angeles, Roukes is one of those people who never settles for long. While he recognises that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, he doesn’t care too much. It’s the exploration, rather than the destination itself, that pushes him onwards.
This restless attitude is expressed in his large-scale oil on canvas works, which give vivid representation to the nomadic spirit. Drawing on a wealth of traditional cultural inspirations gathered on his travels, as well as pop culture and street art influences, Roukes’ creations jump out from the canvas with a fierce and unstoppable energy, stitched together like Frankenstein’s monster with the incongruous body parts of Egyptian gods. In The Great Beyond, the title work from Roukes’ latest collection, monkey-headed soldiers snarl as they retreat from some foreign battlefield, while a bull-headed father struggles to find his way in Lost Angeles. The collection has settled briefly at StolenSpace Gallery, London, and will hit the road again on 28 June.