98 percent Belgian
Fleur Boonman - Andy Wauman
Gallery FIFTY ONE
Gallery FIFTY ONE is proud to present visual artists Andy Wauman and Fleur Boonman.
Andy Wauman’s most recent work shows powerful images he was able to make because of his love for the streetculture. The artist manipulates symbols and logos of the consumer society, questioning their invariable and obvious meaning. Becoming statements, Wauman’s pictures are shown to an audience who helps shaping those images by adding a little imagination. Or as wauman puts it: “Imagination is always three steps ahead of a statement”.
While the American presidential candidates are doing their utmost to conquer the stars and stripes, and eagerly using the flag because of its symbolic importance, Andy’s flag is not directly refering to the elections. It even caries a wider range of meanings. Wauman’s version is a fragmented flag, the meaning of which can and may be chosen freely. By cutting up the flag, he puts at risk the unrelenting myth of the American ideal. Nevertheless he does so in a poetic manner. The systematic tearing creates esthetic qualities and makes it likely that this young artist has a romantic soul. Wauman’s comment is double: there is the subdued social criticism in his art on the one hand and there is a slumbering mythical desire for eternal freedom on the other hand. It takes a lot of guts to retake such a strong symbol. As we all know, generations before Wauman, pop artists such as Rauschenberg and Johns already threw themselves at the symbol of the American nation. The era of pop art was drenched in optimism though. The artists could still here the echo of the American dream, the euphoria of better times. Whereas Wauman is on a romantic mission in these crazy times.
Fleur Boonman studied Audiovisual Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam where she concentrated on film, video and photography. Currently she is making a film. Through the different media she tries to express herself, to show how she sees the world. Part of the exhibited work consists of a new series called ‘Portable Art’ and a set of self-portraits. Although Boonman is a Belgian photographer, great part of her work goes back to her nomadic life in Africa, Eastern Europe and Cuba. Like in a diary, she registers objects, places and people she meets along her way. All these poetic impressions together form like a roadmovie of her encounters with a different world.She shows us how she experiences that other world and how she tries to occupy her proper place in it. We get as it were a window on the world through the eyes of Boonman. A world that, because of a constant moving of the position of the pictures, can be interpreted in a personal way by the audience. “My work is your window on the life I am living”. And white borders around the pictures emphasize that same idea.
One might think that the images are put up because of the rigid compositions, but the opposite is true. They are the result of a spontaneous interaction with the objects, which makes her compositions subjective. We look at her experience of others, of places and emotions. Because of the interaction, the people of the subcultures become part of the story of her life. Eventhough her sense of colour, composition and light contribute to esthetically strong pictures, it is the situation, the moment that creates the beauty in her work. That beauty returns in most of her pictures as she aims at registering beautiful moments. Nevertheless, the photographer behind the camera stays a real person with different moods. In the series of self-portraits she shows herself as the subjective medium of her pictures. The different shapes contrast with the beauty she normally tries to reproduce.