One may wonder why match these two artists. Yet, on inspection, one can see that, although their works are distinctly different, they often reflect similar schools of thought and reference.
Both artists treasure the iconic images of their forebears and have cultivated their own way to present universal truths, dialogues, and stories. Despite the timelessness of the concepts, each finds a different way to interpret them with a contemporary twist. Their works are multi-layered aesthetically and conceptually. Often referring to iconic images of the Dutch Masters. Several works employ chiaroscuro and light; techniques frequently used by the Masters. In many cases these two contemporary artists depict their subjects in garments like those of the 15th to 17th centuries. Albeit their similarities, these two artists differ in the mood of their art. Whereas Belmer’s work is often muted, mysterious, dark and introspective, Rosenberg’s work is often mischievous, full of double-andante and humor.
Thurston Belmer’s Untitled #2, 2016 depicts a 15th century Dutch-like female caught in a moment of thought. While the Masters often depicted their figures in more intimate settings, Belmer’s beautifully rendered lady is close upfront. This work, like most, deals with loss, alienation, and the absurd. As the artist says himself, “…the word absurd in the sense of the cultural movement—our search as humans to locate inherent, universal meaning, and our human inability to find any.” Jack Rosenberg’s, It Is Not What You Think, 2012 depicts a man, perhaps from the same era. It is possibly a subject of either someone else’s or the artist’s pranks. Rosenberg’s language is layered with conceptual and perceptual revelations.