In collaboration with art critic Rob Perrée, Readytex Art Gallery has developed an informative initiative: An Eye for Art. Once every two weeks Rob Perrée discusses a work of art from the collection of Readytex Art Gallery. This week he talks about ‘Blauw Misi’, mixed media on canvas, 70 cm wide x 100 cm high, 2013, by Sri Irodikromo.
A striking canvas by Sri Irodikromo (Schiedam, 1972). For several reasons.
When it comes to her work I automatically think of warm colors: yellow, orange, red, going towards brown. This painting is unmistakably blue, in many shades of that color. The title ‘Blauw Misi’ (blue lady) once again emphasizes this choice. Blue is not considered a warm color, rather the opposite.
The choice for this color is clarified when I see how Sri portrays her ‘Misi’. While many of her works are figurative, in this case it seems as though Irodikromo has reduced the woman to a collection of abstract shapes held together by the vague contours of a woman. They are forms that literally seem to not want to give anything away, that only just want to be a form. The woman is no longer human, but a blue mechanism. I use this last word deliberately because there is, due to her loose, expressionistic way of painting, indeed some movement, some liveliness in the woman. That sounds contradictory, but perhaps she is indeed looking for that contradiction. The tear underneath the middle of the work seems to reinforce this. The artist has sewn two parts together in an elementary fashion. It is obviously done by hand. Everything but technical or mechanical.
It seems obvious to look at the blue figure as a symbol of the coldness caused by the rapid developments in social media and the subsequent acceleration of society, as a result of which human contact is likely to become undermined. Another work, ‘Techno Misi’, seems to reinforce that interpretation. The contradictions mentioned though, are indicative of doubt.
Blue also symbolizes ‘turned inwards’. Irodikromo could just as easily have portrayed that variation. The work could then possibly refer to the consequences of all those developments. Mankind shielding itself.
Sri Irodikromo has no clear answer. She raises questions, but relevant questions. Questions that many people have about a society that increasingly allows itself less and less rest.
Aside from all interpretations: ‘Blauw Misi’ is a surprising and powerful work. An image that imbeds itself in your memory.
TEXT Rob Perrée, New York, November 2014
TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld
Want to see this and other work of Sri Irodikromo ‘up close and personal’? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Maagdenstraat 44-upstairs, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.com. For more information about Sri Irodikromo please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/sri.
This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on November 19, 2014 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on November 19, 2014.
Because really looking at art and understanding art are not always obvious and easy to do, we hope that these regular reviews will at least offer you some insight into the process. You will get to see how a connoisseur looks at art, discusses it, and then links the work to others within the international art world.
Of course you can only truly judge a work of art when you are actually standing in front of it yourself. We therefore hope to see you soon in Readytex Art Gallery and are eager to hear what you think of this artwork, and which other works of art you find yourself drawn to. Please note that the artworks discussed are still available for purchase at the time that the review is published.
Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of Africanah.org and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website: http://robperree.com.