Even though Manu Engelen’s paintings might come across as pure abstraction, in fact they are based on the observation of particular objects or phenomena that have struck his attention. The artist starts to paint already with a synthesised image in his mind, taking a leap from figuration towards abstraction and from assertion to speculation. One of Manu’s subject of interest has been the notion of energy and its different manifestations, from mechanical- to chemical energy. This interest shows not only in the more or less absent layer of representation, but also in the formal qualities of his paintings, vibrating with colours and incorporating energetic strokes of spray paint. Manu’s works have a characteristic aura, combining a soft feeling of nostalgia with a fresh sense humour, brought about by the use of contrasting colours and rudimental, familiar-looking forms, based – distantly – on among others vintage car ornaments, and food articles.