Bathing in paint

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Jan 25 2015

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Category: Europe, Italy

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We’re back at the Italian pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2011. In an earlier post I had called it a sort of junk art shop.

The larger than life portraits of a man and a woman bathing are impressive. Look how true-to-life the water is flowing in plenty over their heads! The open mouths, looking like dark caverns in this format, give the faces an expression of deep sensual pleasure, caused by the cooling – or warming – effect of the water. I can imagine they’ll show a similar expression when caught in the fervour of making love.

So yes, I can’t deny being vaguely intrigued and impressed by the paintings. But at the same time I undeniably feel a doubt. The paintings look as if they want to impress me. I see a painter behind them, working at the huge canvasses, who’s increasingly getting impressed himself by the work he is doing. And when the aim to impress gets the upper hand, the art is probably the first victim.

(Note: Sorry for not having been able to trace the name of the painter. If anyone knows, I’ll be grateful for letting me know too.)

Photo of the week: The Italian pavilion at the 54th Biennale in Venice, Italy, 2011

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