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Narrative Painting

The Fifth Season (2nd Edition), exhibition view. Courtesy Francesco Arena.

This is a picture from my last group show, The Fifth Season (Second Edition), which took place in Genoa last December. One of the reasons why I like taking part in group exhibitions is that you have the possibility to create new constellations by simply placing works painted at different times side by side.

These two paintings were chosen by curator Benedetta Spagnuolo because she thought they could fit in with the mood of the Belgian film the show was loosely titled after. The one on the left is recent, whereas the one on the right, called The Narrative, is from 2020. Several people asked me if there was a story behind them.

Until the twentieth century, most Western art has been based on the assumption that people were familiar with the stories in question. Today we can’t rely on that anymore, so for me it has all become more about blanks, faded memories, meaning that can’t be discussed in an unambiguous or understandable way. On the other hand, I think Francis Bacon was right when he said that whenever there is more than one figure in a painting a story takes place, whether you like it or not. I think in this case the two works could also be interpreted as a diptych of sorts, or as a film sequence. So I would answer yes, there is a story behind them, though I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly what, because my work is more about asking questions than giving answers.

Both works in the picture are available. If you are interested click here.

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