My father once said to me that a good piece of art should slap you in the face.
Even though I disagree with him sometimes, I liked that a lot and I like to be slapped in the face.. It is not often that you are struck by something in such a manner that it stay’s in the mind and overgrows everything that mattered less.
Of course the blow can come from different angles (beauty, shock, alienation, directness, physical impact) but looking at this poster from Anthon Beeke I immediately experienced the ‘slap in the face’ again.
A lot of my fellow students thought the thing horrid and filthy and I can totally understand that. This image illustrates some of the associations we make between for instance : women, horses and sexuality. I think that feeling of repulsion comes from the hidden knowledge we have about our own beastly behavior and the gender specific features that come with that. Moreover it touches upon the similarities between humans and animals.
A while ago one of my friends said she had seen two horses mate and that it had horrified her, why?, because the aggressiveness with which the stallion had moved reminded her vaguely of her ex-husband.
We can find the truth within language; do we not refer to certain men with the word ‘stud’? And do we not aim for a specific type of woman using the term broodmare?
Some displays in this exhibition made me curious, some designs were funny or even beautiful, I marveled over the poster designs from Jan Toorop and Jan Tschichold, However…; appreciating something is not the same as being hit by something. Anthon Beeke really struck, with this beautiful, raw and direct image.
This poster was made for a tragedy written by Shakespeare, I will never forget that play now, and I every time I saddle my horse for a ride I will think about Troilus and Cressida.
LUST DOES NOT MAKE ME HOT
Why is it that some works of art stay with you, and others do not?
When you go through an exhibition, an art fair or an Art book there are only very few things you remember, that stay with you, the rest ….. will be continued in this linked pdf