maandag 3 mei 2010

New Gallery/Shop 10+10 opens in Amsterdam

Karin Bos, Do not feed the artist, mixed media, 26 x 15 x 9 cm, 2010

On June 3 2010 a brand new gallery slash shop will open its doors in Amsterdam. Gallery 10+10 located at Quellijnstraat 92 at the Marie Heinekenplein, is initiated by Laura de Josselin de Jong, whose experience as a theatre stage designer will show in the appearance and concept of 10+10. So don’t expect a white cube gallery. Her shop will be more like one big installation piece, where everything is for sale.
It will be open each Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1 to 5 pm. Sunday June 6 the grand opening party will start at 4 pm.

Laura and I met last summer in Latvia where we participated in an artists’ workshop. She asked me to make some new works for her opening group show “The Van Gogh Sunflowers”. ‘Sure’ I said, and started to wonder how to respond to Van Gogh’s work. I knew I didn’t want to copy his sunflowers.
Van Gogh is so incredibly famous nowadays, while being so poor and miserable during his lifetime, that my work for this exhibition had to be about what he represents. He has become a myth, the archetype of the under-appreciated genius, the outsider who has to suffer to make brilliant art.
In his letters to his brother Theo he wrote about the sunflowers that he had to paint quickly to beat the decay of the flowers, so I don’t think it was his aim to paint vanitas-pieces. Then I decided to use sunflower seeds for my new work. Seeds promise new life and possibilities, instead of failure and death.

Art critic Janneke Wesseling recently wrote about my work: “In her work is an undertone of tragedy, the tragedy of human failure. It's about the desire for purity, knowing that purity is fragile and doesn’t last long.”
Vincent Van Gogh painted farmers, simple countryside life and nature in search for purity.
For me, it becomes interesting where things go wrong, when human relationships become unbalanced in terms of power, even in spite of original attempts and intentions to do it right.
People and their mutual relative power is my main subject. This could be as in men and women, adults and children, children amongst each other, group behaviour and loners, as the desire to fit in and the unfortunate reality of deviation.

In my new piece “Watching the sunflowers grow” two naked little girls are looking through spy-glasses. They represent the pureness of blissful non self-awareness kids still have until that particular moment that shame kicks in.
Karin Bos, watching the sunflowers grow, mixed media, 2010

The boy scouts in my other new piece for the exhibition “The field trip”, have already lost their innocence. This piece has a slightly ominous undertone.
Karin Bos, The field trip, mixed media, 2010

My head is so tired I can see the devil smile” is an older piece. The white cube contains a print of a brush in red ink, and the face of a smiling dwarf from a fairytale covered with red wax. The title, which is engraved in the glass, is originated from a song. The original line was: “My feet are so tired; I can see the devil smile”.
The physical is changed by me into the mental. Part of the Van Gogh myth is his struggle with his mental health, especially the cutting-off of the ear and the suicide.
Thanks to Vincent it is common knowledge: Artists should be weird and artists should be poor.
Karin Bos, My head is so tired I can see the devil smile, mixed media, 1993

Which brings me to the last piece I’ve made for the exhibition: “Do not feed the artist”.
Compassion and humour are the best ways to deal with tragedy and human failure I think.

Karin Bos

participating artists: Claartje Borren, Dorien de Jonge, Els ter Horst, Hanneke van de Hoeven, Henk Kraayenzank, Karin Bos, Lilian ter Horst , Maria Sezer, Thecla Renders, Wiepke Poldervaart, Carin Eilers, Cornelius Brandle, Engelien van den Dool, Eugenia Loginova, Gepke Hingst, Geosculptura, Giny van den Beld, Maruta Raude, Patrick Scholer, Yvonne de Boer.