25 July 2011


Serge Verheugen - En route to Venus

Serge Verheugen - En route to Venus (detail)

Serge Verheugen - Smi(t)le(r)

A large number of small paintings show different aspects of human behaviour. Vanity, cheating, deception, (faking) ignorance, recklessness. They are portrayed as drawings in oil paint; the paint is used mainly to shape the surface into a relief that creates shadows and highlights. The radial ridges in the background give each subject a halo and make them into small icons.

The round and cartoon-like styling of the works, give the somewhat awkward subject matter more of a funny and innocent look.

The title of the work refers to the statue ‘the Venus de Milo’, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful and graceful pieces of art. Yet the statue’s arms have broken off. This incompleteness, a sign of degradation, is not thought to be a problem. In fact statues are made without arms or legs, to make them more beautiful. The principal of viewing degradation as a sign of beauty, can be taken further. Good things can be bad and often the other way around. Reviewing the behaviour in these pictures can give us a broader grasp on what is good and bad.

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