The Prodigal Son - by Egbert Modderman
Egbert Modderman: Father and Son
by Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker
In 2016 the young Dutch artist Egbert Modderman (b. 1989) had his first solo exposition entitled ‘The Beauty of Religion’ in the Martinikerk in Groningen. Right away he sold all the twelve large exhibited works, most of them with biblical themes. He comments: “These Bible stories describe human nature in all its simplicity, complexity and drama. I attempt to portray these human emotions in my work. My style can be described as figurative with a dramatic and religious flair.” His painting Father and Son deals with the story of the Prodigal Son, but instead of focusing on the father and the first son – as is traditionally done – he portrays the father with the second son. We see this son taking care of his father, but while he is undeniably the ‘good’ and responsible child, he looks the other way, showing that his head and heart are not really in it. The father on the other hand is one and all kindness, almost like an old fool extending his open hand to the younger son, to all of us. Though the black mantle of the son is contrasted with the white robe of the father, the collar of his shirt – a touch of grace – is white.
Egbert Modderman: Father and Son, 2016, oil on linen, 150 x 200 cm.