The deliberate "borrowing" of an image for this new context is called "recontextualization." Recontextualization helps the artist comment on the image's original meaning and the viewer's association with the original image or the real thing.'
Something as that, not my words..Why the 'Body' from Luc Tuymans?
Body is probably THE
most iconic keywork of Luc Tuymans in his entirely career span, even could say perhaps, without Body there was maybe not such a impact of Tuymans in the (art)world as we see it today.
Jan Hoet, the late Jan Hoet, enigmatic and defender of the arts in all way's, the curator who became famous internationally with 'Chambres d'Amis' in 1986, buy's personally 'Body' in 1990 after it was turned down by the purchasing board committee of the SMAK museum in Gent, Belgium.
Hoet was founder and artistic museum director of the SMAK and wanna to aquire 'Body' as acquisition for the museum's collection. To keep his face up and to be shy enough to give it back to Tuymans saying it was rejected, he pay it from his own pocket.
By his retirement of the SMAK he donate it as a contribution to the collection of the Museum, also as sweet victory towards the committee which mainly consisted of parachuted representatives of the political party in power that time. With a satisfied smile on his face, after retiring in 2003 from Gent, he become artistic director for the MARTa Herford in Germany and collaborated with architect Frank Gehry on its design.
In 1992, Jan Hoet selects the 'Body' for the Documenta IX. Soon after, there are exhibitions in diverse European countries, and finally the first in the USA with David Zwirner Gallery, New York. In 2001, Tuymans causes a furore at the Venice Biennale (with Jan Hoet again curating). This is the beginning of triumphal progress via the White Cube ('The Rumour' 2001) and Saatchi in London (Display Room 2) to the Tate Modern and K21 in Düsseldorf in 2004 and by that time the Tuymans rocket was already launched to never come down.
"He was invaluable," Tuymans said of Jan Hoet, who bought his first work and was instrumental in making Tuymans a global name in contemporary painting.
Presently, Luc Tuymans is universally hailed as the man who put painting on the agenda again, yes, even as the most important painter of his generation, nothing less than the successor of Gerhard Richter. The craquelures in the work.
To accentuate the antedate and presents it as long fading memory's, Tuymans produced a artificial craquelé in 'Body'. Also the age worn colours, apart from the fact that he allow to distinguish his painting from commercial photography and expressionistic painting, have to convey the impression that the image is bleached by light. How much Luc Tuymans also thinks in terms of photography is evident from the fact that bleaching is the fate of pics rather than paintings, which fairly tend to darken.
It was the story above and the mysterious applied craquelé that was haunting me to reproduce it in a manner that could be resemblance to the story and the painting, certainly not in a way of lets make a quick copy of that work.
The question was, how to reconstruct it as closes possible, how came the black out the craqs, how would i apply the paint in layers that keeped these present craquelures visible till the end, how to reach the bleached washed out colors?
I started made one, and a second, and a thirth, and realize that the construction of the painting was there, but not those mean haunting little black craqs as it should be appear visible with all their forces in the right place.
It was in Düsseldorf during the K21 exhibition i asked Luc of the technique and medium he used, a bit surprisingly why-, he explained his process how the image was created.
So then there was the fourth attempt and was also my final one, mysteries ware solved, appropriation could begin in a way to get as closes possible to the original image.
Months later after succeeding the painting, i was meeting Luc Tuymans on a sunny sunday in Antwerp, and it became finalized by he signed the work, this work became signed by the Artist who create it originally but was re-painted in another context, that was the Ultimate Appropriation for me.
A legitimate finalisation sealed with a black marker, and the painting existed from that moment, what from an art historian’s point of view is a very rare peculiar event. "It is a very interesting incident, which is probably worthwhile being mentioned in discussions about contemporary art practice" as someone wrote about it.
I thank you cordially Luc. It was indeed a very sunny sunday for me that day.
There is not/yet a definition for it. How to define the work, painted by someone but signed by the original Artist, is it a copy?, but regard as legitimate?, is it a fake? It is certainly not a Tuymans painting.
Appropriation art raises questions of originality, authenticity and authorship, and belongs to the long tradition of art that questions the nature or definition of art itself.
It triggered a controverse and a discourse afterwards in several circles, the disconsolate and bit uncompleted thing that residue, was when a email from Herford came that Jan Hoet commented- "that he was speechless when he saw that work, why i made this etc.."- , and i never got the chance to set and explain it right to him. This will always remains a point where there is a gap in the triangle between the work, Jan Hoet and myself.
"I do not know what art is . The art itself will tell us who she is. Not me. I can only offer a ticket for the journey"
Jan Hoet 1936-2014