Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Marlene Dumas: taking sex seriously

Marlene Dumas, whose watercolor painting was featured here a few days ago, is worth going back to.
Not because she is the most expensive living female artist. And not because she "embraces the totality of the human experience" (wow, people still actually write this sort of stuff...).

Oh, bloody hell.
Oh, bloody hell.
I am as filthy as I am pure.
I think things, imagine things, crave for them or despise them.
This explicitness, this seeing more, or need to see more, is what brings me here.
To this site, to this artist. To this constant search for a name, a form, a way of channeling thirst.
Is it about sex? Is it about the blatancy of exposition?
Is it about humanity? About the loss of innocence? The search for meaning?
Is it about who we are? About our place in the order?
It certainly is about where the technique takes us. Yes, the technique. The way of putting things, of joining the clay.

One thing that irritates me is the often-repeated idea that Dumas is an artist "who knows no taboos". This is not only silly and sensationalist - it takes away the pleasure of discovering the exact lines of her taboo, her notions of decency, quite present and rich. Look at the above pictures as at a map of impossibilities, of what is not said. The form as subtraction.

See more Marlene Dumas here, here and here.


Anonymous said...

the only thing that bothers me is what she's "saying" entirely.

"Removing the hierarchical value system of perception, Marlene Dumas presents unsettling truths as paintings because there is no other means to communicate their primal essence." blahblabla...

there are no other means? oh please. why "present" porn painting at all - next please.

ray said...

i love controversial art... especially this one it's beautiful!
there is a painting it reminds me a lot of by David Foox, he's a new artist too, and he has a painting called "Fucking". if you like this, youll like it too!
you can see the image on his website:
and blog:


collector said...

But is it porn or is it fine art? who decides? Coubret's "origin of the world" was it porn or high art? who decides?


Related Posts with Thumbnails