January 27, 2017

Street art in Brussels: Gigantic and very gory details copied from famous 17th-century paintings onto the outside of building.

One is a gutted, bloody corpse hanging by its feet, painted 7-stories long on an apartment building. The instinct to condemn it outright is modified by the realization that it is a detail from the painting "The Corpses of the De Witt Brothers" which is on display in the Rijksmuseum.*

A stealthy anonymous artist accomplished the work "on a few bitterly cold nights in Brussels while dangling down a rope and staying out of sight of authorities."
The mural depicting a lynched De Witt brother can be seen far and wide, including by hundreds of thousands of commuters on Belgium's busiest stretch of railway.

Many art insiders suspect the painter behind the murals is the same one who created huge frescoes of human genitalia a few months ago....

"The artist is trying to give the public an answer to all of these people talking in the press," about the genital murals, [said  Bjorn Van Poucke, curator of the Crystal Ship, a major European street art festival on the Belgian coast]. "So he actually says with these last two works that if you still think these are shocking, please be aware that it is inspired by two historical paintings over 400 years old."...

"Some people say, 'Yeah, it really has to stay,' but then you ask them 'What would you think if you had the same violent image in front of the school of your children or in front of the bedroom of your children?' and they say "Ooh, I would not like it,'" [said  Brussels alderwoman Ans Persoons]. "And that makes it interesting art."
The current political solution is to leave the artwork where it is.

________________

* "The ultimate humiliation: the nude, flayed corpses of Johan and Cornelis de Witt on public display in the Groene Zoodje, the execution ground on the Vijverberg in the middle of The Hague. On 20 August 1672 they were assassinated by their political opponents. Johan had been the most powerful man in the Republic for close to twenty years, steadfastly supported by his brother Cornelis. But they were held responsible for everything that went wrong in the year 1672, known as the ‘Year of Disaster.'"

33 comments:

Bay Area Guy said...

"The current political solution is to leave the artwork where it is."

Is it his apartment building? If not, did he get consent from the owner? The tenants?

Sounds like more Leftist horseshit to me.

Odi said...

If the artist doesn't own the buildings or have the owners permission to paint them, then this graffiti and it should be removed.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I agree. There should be no political solution. If the owner of the property wants it to stay, it stays. If not it gets painted over. Easy.

Anglelyne said...

...please be aware that it is inspired by two historical paintings over 400 years old."...

The juvenile impulse to "shock" people and make them "aware" of what they're already perfectly well aware of is a characteristic trait of artists who don't have anything interesting to say.

Shame all that hard work is put to such puerile ends.

EDH said...

But they were held responsible for everything that went wrong in the year 1672, known as the ‘Year of Disaster.'"

Obviously, someone came along who said....

"We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning."

Ann Althouse said...

If someone paints on your wall, you're not required to remove it. You may choose to leave it there. You can keep it if you like it.

But the article doesn't say who owns the building. It may be owned by the govt. I don't know. If it's a privately owned building and the government is barring the owner from painting it out, that would be wrong. But I don't see that issue developed in the article.

I don't think the government normally fixes criminal damage to property FOR you!

Imagine if the taxpayers had to reimburse every victim of crime! It wouldn't just be paying to paint over graffiti.

AJ Lynch said...

How about a poll Professor:

What is more revolting?
1-This bldg mural of a DeWitt Brother
2- Walking vaginas at the women's march
3- The nude Trump sculpture
4- Any comment made by Freder Frederson

CJinPA said...

Does anyone still make art that celebrates beauty, or must it all lecture us?

Guildofcannonballs said...

"The stadtholderate was never a well-defined concept in the constitution of the Dutch Republic, instead being a patchwork of responsibilities. Likewise, Orangism never became a consistent political theory.[2]:120 In particular, the Orangists never formulated a desire for absolute sovereignty in the hands of the princes, even though they "lean[ed] heavily on the concept of monarchy", since this would have been problematic in the Republic that wrested its independence from the kings of Spain under William of Orange.[1]:12 Instead, they stated their views in terms of republican liberty, sharing the idiom of their States Party opponents.[3]:47"

There is even "Tromp" mentioned within the wiki. Deja Vu. Big league default vu.

David said...

That's quite a prank for the artist to pull off. I wonder if the artist will "claim responsibility?" Good career move, or not?

tcrosse said...

Shock is a moving target. It becomes harder and harder to shock the squares. This explains why Madonna has to work so hard.

BarrySanders20 said...

Good to be reminded that our current political wrangling is calm compared to the past.

lemondog said...

How long does it take to paint such a mural? Days, hours, minutes? How is it kept anonymous? Started and completed at night?

BarrySanders20 said...

Is Trump an Orangist?

Donald of Orange.

Anglelyne said...

So even if they are strictly illegal, the murals do give the city a certain amount of the street cred it craves. Brussels wants to be "this creative, artistic, urban city that people want to come and visit of course," Persoons said.

There are beautiful places in Brussels; the Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts are well worth a visit to the city, even if you saw nothing else. Other than that, Brussels is developing a little too much "street cred", IYKWIMAIKTYD.

rehajm said...

tcrosse said...
Shock is a moving target. It becomes harder and harder to shock the squares.


Are you listening, Laslo?

Curious George said...

"Brussels wants to be "this creative, artistic, urban city that people want to come and visit of course"

They shouldn't have let all the muzzies in. Whatever chance they had is lost forever.

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...

"If someone paints on your wall, you're not required to remove it."

In Eugene, OR you are. You will be fined if you don't paint over the scat left on your property by the government's pet gangsters. Pyongyang on the Willamette, I call it.

Fernandinande said...

The Munsters are behind this.

rehajm said...

It's been done. Too Banksy.

Sydney said...

A little off topic, but the movie The Admiral reproduced that painting in its scene of the murder of the DeWitts. I found it very shocking in the movie, can't imagine seeing it on a building. Bigly.

Curious George said...

"The current political solution is to leave the artwork where it is."

Want it gone? Paint a cartoon of Muhammad over it. It'll be gone. Fast. Or the whole building will be Allahu Akbared.

campy said...

Can we impeach Trump for this?

tcrosse said...

Can we impeach Trump for this?

After all, Hillary won the popular vote in Flanders, and only lost Wallonia by a few thousand votes.

LarsPorsena said...

The figures look disemboweled not 'flayed'.
Why the big gashes on the quadriceps?

FullMoon said...

Same did painting of child with knife to throat, ISIS style "Some parents in the grimy, gentrifying neighborhood where the basketball court-sized mural of Isaac howling in fear is located have complained that children are having trouble sleeping because of the terrifying sight outside their windows."

Besides being an artist, the person is a hard worker, and brave. Dangling on the side of the building at night like that. Wonder if he used brushes, or had spray equipment? How much paint did it take? Did he buy the paint, or steal it?

lemondog said...

Stencils?

Kassaar said...

“The figures look disemboweled not 'flayed'.”

That is correct. Here is a quotation from the (lengthy) Dutch Wikipedia article about the assassination (section 2.4, my translation):

Maiming
Toes, fingers, thumbs, ears, noses, lips, tongues and hands were cut off. The corpses were punched by some bystanders. The entrails were removed from the bodies and, according to poet and industrialist Joachim Oudaan, partly eaten by onlookers or fed to dogs. Besides, the bodies were castrated. A dead cat was placed between Cornelis’s legs. Verhoef did indeed cut the hearts from the bodies. For years, they were on display in jars filled with turpentine oil.

n.n said...

The privacy veil shielding abortion chambers is being torn down. The proliferation of art depicting abortion rites may indicate a renaissance in human rights.

William Chadwick said...

The Alexandre Dumas novel THE BLACK TULIP, which is about "Tulipomania," begins with a chapter about the mob's murder of the DwWitt brothers. I read it decades ago, and I recall it being about as graphic as this painting.

John said...

Fernandinand,

Yup, I think it is the Munsters. The good people of Munster whoin the 16th century tortured and killed the Anabaptists.

After killing, or perhaps before, three of the leaders were hung in cages from the steeple of St Lambert's Church.

They were so proud of what they did that the cages are still a tourist attraction today. Just above the clock so you can't miss them.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=cages+steeple+munster&view=detailv2&&id=A2541374EA2A04CAA64F3EDDCFE9B764CB8437AA&selectedIndex=4&ccid=ynhNWSQ7&simid=608026869182631862&thid=OIP.ynhNWSQ7d_ZE6jJ4OaTX4QEsDI

Germans have always been such a kind and gentle people.

The things one can learn from Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast.

http://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/

John Henry

John said...

15-20 years ago when I was first reading the Aubrey-Maturin series I first ran across the Knipperdollings. At the time, I thought this might be a church I was interested in joining. Not for the theology, I just liked the name and thought it would be cool to be able to say:

"Hi, I'm John Henry. I'm a Knipperdolling."

After finding out what happened to them, I lost that urge.

John Henry

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I just know that I'd hate to live in an apartment in that building.