If the beauty and originality of collage relies on the juxtaposition of “a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table” (Comte de Lautréamont), thenPascal Verzijl is the quintessential collage artist. Creating analogue paper collages as well as digital images, Verzijl mostly uses coloured material that seems to be of no particular historical or artistic style, and which was only produced to demonstrate in a rather unembellished fashion a feature of the world surrounding us. These images are mostly common place, but have a strong graphic quality. They are nothing other than traces of everyday life, found in books and magazines.
Rotating these views of nature or industrial landscapes and inserting basic facial features (eyes, lips, sometimes half a face or even a beak), Verzijl creates portraits and figures that border on the grotesque, but remain playful and loveable without being gory or garish. Bringing a human touch to the world we inhabit, his collages remind one of the figures and faces created by the great German Dadaist Hannah Höch. Just like her masterful collages from almost a hundred years ago, Pascal Verzijls works today respond to the viewers’ desire to recognize a face or a body as soon as there’s a hint of a creature emerging out of the mist of visual static. He thereby sets in motion a surprisingly arresting and engaging kind of animism that defies the soullessness of modern societies.
Dirk Naguschewski, Berlin 2016