Geisha (2017)


Archival pigment print on rag paper 102 x 81 cm.
Edition of 50 + 5 Artist Proofs


The main focus of the series Callas/Butterfly by Jasper Krabbé is not so much the subject as the painting process.

“I wanted to get away from the anecdotal and back to the making process itself. And at the same time to give a greater role to the remains of earlier work and to chance. You throw the dice and never know how it will roll.”

The supports used are untreated fabric, the backs of pieces of painted canvas, and prints. He paints his unobtrusive images using thin layers of paint, often in pastel shades. The untreated fabric sucks up the paint, giving the paintings an open and transparent look. Sharp lines blur; figures become distorted. Printed patterns from packaging materials like bubble wrap are sometimes visible and – resembling the grid of dots in commercial print imagery – reference the ‘polka dots’ of Polke, Lichtenstein and Kusama.

In a series devoted to Maria Callas, the figure seems to hover somewhere between abstraction and representation.
“The picture I used as a starting point came from the jacket of a vinyl record that I found at an antique market. For me, it’s an image full of antitheses and it became an obsession. A western woman playing the part of an oriental woman in an opera – a highly flamboyant art form, but here extremely modest and subdued. I was struck by her introverted expression and pose.”

There is a limited edition run of 5 different prints from the series Callas/Butterfly.

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