An Eye for Art: Wilgo Vijfhoven – ‘The First …’

September 30, 2015 at 11:17 pm (An Eye for Art) (, , , , )

In collaboration with art critic Rob PerréeReadytex 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 ‘The First …’, acrylics on canvas, 65 cm wide x 111 cm high, 2014, by Wilgo Vijfhoven.

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘The First ...’, acrylics on canvas, 65 cm wide x 111 cm high, 2014 - USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘The First …’, acrylics on canvas, 65 cm wide x 111 cm high, 2014 – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

There are several things that intrigue me about this work of art. I know that while Vijfhoven (Paramaribo, 1964) paints figuratively, he does not attempt to create a true image of reality. He wants to be free to bring his emotions into it. The predominance of red and the white ‘shadow’ he has laid over the face of his model, are proof thereof. Striking in this work however, are the wild lines that he has ‘leaked’ over his painting. Rather than just being a deviation from reality, this act seems more like a disturbance of reality. Especially the carelessness, the randomness and the messiness of the lines seem to attest to a lack of respect for the individual portrayed. Or are the lines actually there to decorate the whole? If that is so, then the opposite is true. Whatever the case, it is as though he invites the viewer to take some distance. Also literally, because the lines create a sense of depth.

Vijfhoven makes no secret of his love for women. They are almost always the subject of his paintings. The person in this painting however, remains a mystery. The gender is not clear. Man? Woman? Both are possible. Because of that, the color red can be interpreted in different ways. In his paintings of women the red adds a haze of eroticism to the whole. In this work the red strengthens the suggestion that the ‘model’ is a native Indian. A ‘redskin’ with a feathered headdress. An unexpected change of theme.

From that point of view, the puzzling title – ‘The First …’ – suddenly becomes clearer. Wilgo Vijfhoven has afforded himself a little side trip within his own oeuvre. He left the women for what they are, and has diverted to another theme, a theme that is no less relevant in a multi cultural community such as that of Suriname.

The works that he is creating this year have yet to prove whether I am right …

TEXT Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, September 2015

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2015

Want to see this and other work of Wilgo Vijfhoven ‘up close and personal’? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Steenbakkerijstraat 30, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.comFor more information about Wilgo Vijfhoven please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/wilgovijfhoven.

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More work by Wilgo Vijfhoven available in Readytex Art Gallery:

Wilgo Vijfhoven, 'Moeder en kind' [Mother and child], acrylic on canvas 139x151cm, 2015 - USD 1200 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Moeder en kind’ [Mother and child], acrylic on canvas 139x151cm, 2015 – USD 1200 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Bamboe’ [Bamboo], acryl on canvas, 75 cm wide x 139 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition 'Rood' [Red] – USD 700 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Bamboe’ [Bamboo], acryl on canvas, 75 cm wide x 139 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition ‘Rood’ [Red] – USD 700 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Pauw’ [Peacock], acryl on canvas, 48.2 cm wide x 139.5 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition 'Rood' [Red] – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Pauw’ [Peacock], acryl on canvas, 48.2 cm wide x 139.5 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition ‘Rood’ [Red] – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Bamboe II’, acryl on canvas, 20 cm wide x 90 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition 'Rood' [Red] – USD 250 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Bamboe II’, acryl on canvas, 20 cm wide x 90 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition ‘Rood’ [Red] – USD 250 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Sfeer III’, mixed media on canvas, 71 cm wide x 101 cm high, 2009 - USD 650 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Sfeer III’, mixed media on canvas, 71 cm wide x 101 cm high, 2009 – USD 650 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on September 30, 2015 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on September 30, 2015.

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.

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