A series of paintings depicting the evolving refugee crisis in it’s own colorful but melancholic way.
A crisis I have witnessed up close in country’s like Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Libanon,Turkey, Greece, Slovenia, and France during my work as a cameraman for Dutch current affairs television programs. Trying to catch the characters of the ever fluctuating public and personal opinion concerning the challenging times we face. Hoping to be able reconstruct the evolution of the shared past that awaits us.
The series started with the painting below I made after covering refugees crossing the Croatian/Slovenian border at the end of 2015 and evolved into the portraits pictured above.
The title ‘Welcome to Europe’ (La vie en Rose) is a somewhat sarcastic connotation on the refugees beliefs of a better future here (in Europe) and some politicians beliefs that the problems we face will not be to bad.
It also want’s to show the human reality of a young family prepared to walk for weeks, risk their lives and sleep in the mud to be able to give their child a better future… A scene that I must say brought tears to my eyes because it showed me once more how pragmatic reality can clash with humanity and turn into a heartbreaking status quo.
Art, for me, should not only be esthetic but also critical of your surroundings. Investigative to what life, present, future and history has to offer you and those around you. It should represent your thoughts and feelings as an artist and at the same time adres bigger social issues. My goal in this series is to achieve just that.
Alexander Koning (France, 1978) was brought up amongst photographers, painters, sculptors and musicians. Studied fine-arts and audio-visual design at the Maastricht Art Academy before becoming a videographer traveling the planet for renowned Dutch current affairs television programs, covering everything from war-zones and natural disasters to birthdays of 100 year olds. His journeys are reflected and put in perspective in his paintings, writing and photography. His main goal is to discover as much as he can about humanity in all it’s different conditions and layer his findings with esthetics and subtle philosophical observations.