The Calling, 2014, acrylic on canvas, framed, 31 x 46 cm

In the work of Christophe Malfliet, ‘figurative and abstract’ stand side by side. Painting alongside mixed media such as collage, assemblage and screen printing. Malfliet’s oeuvre is systemless and extraordinary, which requires an unconventional vocabulary. He brings stories to life on his medium with an idiosyncratic palette and a semiotic layering. Figures and shapes try to overlap each other, by working with partly transparent colour fields below and above the figuration. Malfliet is a master at painting over the edge. Sometimes subtly, almost at walking pace, he crosses the boundary and then again completely oversteps it. Even when he consciously chooses to make abstract works, they unmistakably bear this signature. What appears to be a spontaneous act, uncontrolled and purposeless, ultimately turns out to be the result of a very conscious process, in which space is nevertheless left for the paint to take its own course. Both painter and paint seem to enjoy a fundamental freedom, in perfect harmony. As if it were self-evident.

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