she never looked nice. she looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel
is not a Feel Good Painting but meant as the opposite. Due to the content it is very intense and disqualifies it in most cases as decoration. By demanding full attention, a longer perception and raising more questions than giving answers, it is a challenge to combine it with other artwork. It’s more the stand for its own kind of painting that can only adapt to certain environments. Don’t laugh but it’s the same with people. You either stand critical or provocative content or you don’t.
You don’t have questions but also didn’t get the meaning. You appreciate the critical approach but can’t have it at your own place.
you feel estranged.
what you see is not adding up.
the hand looks like on another level than the woman.
I want it to pinch and create discomfort. I need it to be edgy, even unpleasant. That way it stands out. It demands and catches attention. It covers a challenging topic.
I hope you understand that.
it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not
I’d prefer you dislike it and stay critical. But these are Social Media: If you don’t like it, you are gone. So decide as you please.
My worst case scenario
is a non-existent interaction. It never kicks in and a connection to the viewer can’t manifest. As example imagine us in a gallery. People don’t even look at ??????? ????. Then a woman looks at it, continues immediately and mumbles “How nice”.
My best case scenario
(and honest hope) is this letter succeeds and can reach a few of you. Among the feedback there are critical statements. A few describe how to improve it. The conversation goes on a higher level where the painting is not of interest anymore. Racism as a concept is and we find ourselves confronted with it’s full complexity.
BABY can’t be Jewish.
In order to get you close to that the unreflected dichotomy of culprit-victimthinking had to be avoided. The main figure couldn’t be negroid, gay or Jewish. These minorities change meaning and importance only by being associated. So both figures are white which leads to:
Those who believe themselves in white Supremacy feel addressed.
A moment of uncertainty.
Though something doesn’t really add up, it is hard to name it.
The viewer sees that he is (in most cases) like perpetrator and victim.
One might claim there is a lack of decoration, environment, structure, ornaments, background or something that kind. Think it through: The viewer gets a place to rest his eye, a refuge to hide. But he shouldn’t.
Suffering by being superior. Getting hurt by benefitting. The painting is basically about dichotomies brought on a collective level.
We need to make the viewer feel
vulnerability. Therefore the central figure needs to be female and naked.
The central figure is a man. He’d become a martyr but the resemblance to Christ’s Passion is too obvious.
BABY gets clothing, her protection. But that eases up the tension and reduces the significance of racism. She’d also get a personality an individuality incl. social status, taste (or the lack of it) etc. Her suffering would lose its meaning and be just another personal matter of just another frustrated woman in her mid-30s. We’d lose the meta level completely.
So see BABY with her function. Always. She is representing all caucasians of society.
BABY doesn’t suffer despite being white,
it happens because of it.
What effect has our behaviour towards the weak, the unwanted, the suppressed on ourselves? What might be possible effects for a society, a whole nation?
You might find the woman too skinny. I want you to see her rips to eliminate all eroticism and make us feel weird again. It also illustrates her inability to hide anything, her death displayed in public. Is her hidden face resulting the circumstances, is it prove of her failure, innocent shame or sign for accepting the end? Anyway,
she burns and dies.
I wish for another ending as you do.
Do you believe there is a way to save her? Don’t bother. You can’t. She’s gone.
There can’t be a conciliatory ending.
I wouldn’t allow it. I want you to feel the discomfort. I want you to feel your guilt. I can’t.