More art. I dont' say this often, and I will say this only once: Aldert Mantje is a genius.
More art. I dont' say this often, and I will say this only once: Aldert Mantje is a genius. Ever since the early eighties - solo, but also for a long time with his compadre Harold Vlugt, and later with Seymour Likely, a three headed collective, with Ronald Hooft and Ido Vunderink - Mantje has been creating images that always strike me as deeply profound. The art of painting, the craftmanship, is always there, but there's so much more to see: ideas, theories, constellations. Mantje is a provocateur (but not of the infantile sort), a communist crashing at a rightwing herring party, enjoying the explosion of his silent bombs. Whether its political works (like Surrender of Breda) the terrorist series, the monumental series with artist portraits (in collaboration with Peter Kempf, 650 portraits of artists have been made allready), the bankers series, or the ongoing Hitler series (tragi-comic art at its best) - there's always a sense of political and social awareness at action, but it's not the kind of political activism that hammers its message down peoples throat. Mantje makes you think, makes you feel uncomfortable, and even makes you have fun: playing quartet with terrorist (If I can have Andreas Baader, you can have Bin Laden) or watching Adolf dropping his dirty underwear in a laundromat making him 'human, all too human'.
Disconcerting, and, yes, genius.