The paintings of Michal Borremans could seem approachable, if not enticing, at first. The realistic and expertly executed oil paintings’ mellow tones deceive viewers into believing they are familiar with the subject because they allow them to “see what it is.” But as we examine the paintings more, we get increasingly unsure about what we are truly seeing.
People are frequently shown in the paintings bent over mysterious tasks, serenely focused. If they are utilising their hands in any manner, it is a secret, unseen, and incomprehensible way.
The people in Borremans’ paintings are frequently separated from the background and context, lacking any setting that may indicate to whom or what they belong. In several of the scenes, there is a tendency toward an oppressive, unsettling mood. They are quiet and focused, although they are frequently strange and ludicrous.