Ansel Krut - Contemporary Artists

Matelot (Jolly Jack Tar)

Matelot (Jolly Jack Tar) The Saatchi Gallery
 

Ansel Krut

Matelot (Jolly Jack Tar)

2007
Oil on canvas

90 x 80 cm

“‘Matelot’ is the Finnish word for ‘sailor’, and sailors used to be called ‘tars’ because they put tar in their hair to keep it from blowing about. The black paint I used has a tarry quality. The figure looks like an old-fashioned lantern, and seems anachronistic, or out of place in time. All of my paintings are about some kind of confrontation or engagement with the viewer. The character is looking out at you, not challenging exactly, but it’s asking you to deal with its strangeness: that it is a head, but not really a head. It’s just taking the position of being a portrait without actually being one, it has the assumption of portraiture. I try to upturn those expectations.”
 
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