Holland in Kochi

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Apr 16 2017

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Category: Asia, India

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One of the first things I saw at the 3rd edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale was a little painting of a Dutch landscape. Holland in Kochi!
I immediately felt at home again.

Daniele Galliano, an Italian artist, likes combing flea markets in search of paintings by anonymous Sunday painters. He dusts them off and then paints his own additions on them: passers-by, onlookers, intruders, anonymous people of today. On the Dutch landscape painting we notice a figure standing up to his middle in the river. What is he doing, talking to his mobile phone?

Sometimes Galliano’s figures clearly contrast with the original painting, in other cases they wonderfully blend with the scene and one wonders what or whom he has actually added.

Daniele Galliano, Bad Trip, KMB 2016, Kerala, India 2016

Daniele Galliano, Bad Trip, KMB 2016, Kerala, India 2016

Gradually you realise that you are looking at the work of these amateur Sunday painters with unexpected, particular attention. That is the nice effect of Galliano’s painted commentary. You can talk about that grandiloquently as in the Biennale book: “The result [of his interventions] is an uneven two-part narrative, a syncretism of meanings and worlds, and multi-layered representations of parallel universes that are brought together with force.” But this high-flown talk isn’t necessary at all. I experienced his work as light and playful, and it got me in the right mood to continue my visit of the Biennale.

Daniele Galliano, KMB 2016, Kerala, India 2016

Daniele Galliano, Bad Trip, KMB 2016, Kerala, India 2016

Photo of the week: Daniele Galiano, Bad Trip, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, Kerala, India 2016

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