The Angel by Michaël Borremans
If it is called The Angel I, as a metalhead, immediately say or think ‘of death’ after it. And that kind of is why this one was part of the exhibition Anima Mundi. Ironically, the search of what enhances life and death is something that we all deal with at some point in our life but one simply does it different than another. Art particularly is giving people the way of expressing themselves during this search.
Anima Mundi is the result of what Hans van der Ham has found in his search. Whether it is the death or the near death that sparked his attention or the more future based look on life. An angel is nothing new, it is as old as the bible and a richly used object in art but the lady that is portraited here is maybe not the most likely form of an angel I would say. The dark face says something is not right, is the message perhaps not what one wanted to hear? Then, look at the dress. Not too pretty like the sultry skirts in some dreamy angel art is. Not really white as I expected it to be either, this painting is not living up to the stereotype. Finally, the neck and the arms are somewhat masculine, like it is a male figure with a mask.
I must say that it makes it very relevant of the day of today, where gender neutrality is a hot item and everything is possible, regardless of what thousands of years have taught you.
Sure the artist is daring and I like the way he messes with that stereotype. Daring to start a discussion on it. Life is what you want it to be!
Want to see more random paintings? View them at this link