The artworks of Robbert Fortgens have certain characteristics that are confusing at first sight. His works are abstract and possesses certain characteristics that make the art inherently Fortgens. Although his imagery is of an abstract nature, they seem to maintain an archaic force. They exhibit signs of conflict and struggle, while they try to bear the peace and balance of the monumental within itself.
Fortgens through his works shows the audience his own battles. Each piece represents a stage of his creative progression. Together they present the viewer with a story that is called ‘How do I become who I want to be’. Fortgens used to paint still life’s with beautiful realistic pears and graceful female figures. However, he did notice how much the conventions of a profession, that also involves painting, can become a prison and how creating artistic content and meaning can get in the way of a distinct vision. Everybody comes along crossroads in their lives and, like the demigod Herakles, makes a moral choice that determines the rest of his life.
Fortgens returned to the artistic inspirations of his youth, he starts to paint, and basically shows what inspires him. One might think that this would make his work more accessible only for the people who know him, but the individual becomes universal. The reason his work appeals to more and more people, proves that something is expressed in his artwork that connects us with the artist himself. His issues become our issues and that makes it universal. This is a strange paradox, because as Fortgens reveals more about himself within his artwork, he releases the pressure of his ‘personality’ and ‘achievements’. Progress in his work now means ‘letting go’.