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Hollandse Nieuwe - Dutch Male Art First

by our Editors in Theatre, Art & Expo , 19 februari 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
Length: 5 minutes

“Hollandse Nieuwe” is one of those ultimate Dutch expressions. Here, however, it does not signify the standard meaning of the arrival of new herring, but new male art by Dutch artists. With this title, gallery MooiMan male-art starts a new season of exhibitions, focussing on the recent work of eight artists.

The gallery has many international artists. Last summer at a lecture in Den Bosch as part of the Netherlands’ largest queer expo ever, “Pink Ammunition,” one of the artists said that the focus shifts too much to foreign artists. This exhibition therefore is “The Netherlands first,” complete with Dutch flags at the festive opening.
The range of art in this exhibition is wide, varied and diverse. Photography, conceptual photography and video, paintings and a sculpture in the shape of a bronze candle holder. It is new work by a selection of Dutch artists, of which some have been represented by the gallery from the start. New is the special work by the young artist Maurice Nuiten, recently graduated from the AKV / St.Joost in ’s-Hertogenbosch. He will be presenting photos, a video and his graduation catalogue.

The Model

The card, the poster and the banner of several meters high in the gallery showcase a young man, a casual neighbor, who recently visited the gallery for the first time ever with friends. By chance he met photographer Jaap de Jonge, who then organized a photo shoot with him. One photo from the shoot immediately drew attention. Quite deliberately, the choice finally fell on the image of a young, uninhibited adult, ready for a New Year’s Dive in a stretched position, thus plunging into the world of male-art.

An openness befitting the title “Hollandse Nieuwe,” as it is as Dutch as it can get. But it also tries to get young people interested in art, visit a gallery or an art fair, thus meeting other people. Let yourself be surprised by the unexpected as did Tim, who is now the eye-stopper on the invitation card.

Dutch New Photography

Benno ThomaBesides the photographic work by Jaap de Jonge, who is responsible for the show’s invitation card photo, new work by Benno Thoma, Farrand Bloch and Maurice Nuiten can also be seen at the exhibition. Top photographer Benno Thoma, known for his “WET” series, now shows a new series of breath-taking photos of young men in combination with organic elements, such as a huge cow’s horn. Suggestively, the utterly ecstatic young man covers his crotch with this pointy protrusion. Like no other, Benno Thomas knows how to show this in a beautiful, almost mystical visual scene of practically black-and-white photography with just a touch of color.
Special are the experimental photographs by photographer Farrand Bloch (The Hague). There are four handmade collages, in which shapes of men in transparent layers are weightlessly tumbling over each other and seem to be merging. These are unique works, in contrast to most photography, which is often reproduced in small numbers.
Visual artist Maurice Nuiten from Breda presents the photo “Keeping up Appearance.” This photo was part of his graduation project in 2017, as was his catalogue. There is also the video of his performance “Pity Party.” In this article, he gives an account of the realization of his work.

Dutch New Paintings

Three painters are featured in this exhibition. The first is Rob de Lange from Wormer with three oil paintings. His works show a new technique in which he uses layering through transparent transfers from printed media in combination with layers of oil paint. Beautiful works are the result, in which the surprise, the coincidence of how layers interact, makes the men appear in the most diverse, spontaneously created environments.

By painter Peter Colstee (Arnhem) there are several experimental portraits in which he also cautiously makes a step towards astonishment by adding a piece of jewellery in one of the boy portraits.

By Jaap van Ek, a painter from Leiden, the new series “Red Ears” is presented. Freshly painted, he shows body parts, sometimes showing a little red ear.

Dutch New Statues and Sculptures

Is a candle holder made by a sculptor a statue or a utensil? Earlier, Marcel Julius Joosen made a meter-high, almost empire-like, bronze friendship candle holder, with the face and torso of a European man on one side, and an African man on the other. At the exhibition, a large, four-armed candle holder is on display for the first time ever.

Spotlight: Painter Peter Colstee

Peter Colstee, Boy with Earring“The majority of the paintings on show at Gallery MooiMan are portraits made in the past year. A portrait lends itself well to varied working methods and interpretations. Although realism initially is the starting point of a portrait, in this series while painting, I also gradually replaced, added or simplified certain parts, so that sometimes only an outline, a strong light-dark contrast, or an alienating image remains. The boy with the ear bud is a good example of this; a simplified portrait with a strong light-dark contrast that evokes a mysterious atmosphere, and with the addition of a real ear bud also has a surprising effect.”

Spotlight: Photographer and Visual Artist Maurice Nuiten
“‘When you are born, no one said it would be easy,’ is a quote from a new Dutch TV series. We all try to make something of our lives and try find a goal that makes life worth living. When asked how we are doing, we often respond with ‘good’ out of courtesy; without really saying how we truly feel. We are keeping up appearances, both in real life and on social media. The works ‘Pity Party’ (2017) and ‘Keeping up Appearance’ (2017) are an expression of this feigned happiness. They were inspired by ‘Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf,’ a play by Edward Albee that was made into a movie by Mike Nichols in 1966. The setting of the iconic house with a ‘white picket fence,’ but where things are not what they seem. Where all underlying problems posed by career and love are solved with liquor, walking on your toes in this absurd world. Until that fatal point where it all bursts at the seams. It is the same world Simone de Beauvoir describes in a different way in ‘Les Belles Images’ from 1966.”

Nuiten is looking for the other story behind this façade, inspired by existentialism and contrasting hedonism, using his own life to visualize this quest. Because we can always still keep up appearances, flee or live in a haze forgetting reality. But even escapism eventually becomes tiring.

The exhibition “Hollandse Nieuwe” is open to the public until March 4, 2018. This exhibition is followed by “Youthful Lapse” and “Play With Me.”

 Gallery MooiMan
Noorderstationsstraat 40
9717 KP Groningen, The Netherlands




In the New Issue of Gay News, 335, July 2019

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