Ballroom Dancing

Luc Tuymans


Print, 1050 x 750 mm.
Materials: ink on paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK7642_M407).

In Ballroom Dancing, Luc Tuymans indicts American policy post 9/11.  The picture is of a spruced up young couple dancing, everything apparently clean and proper.  But this is mere façade, and Tuymans wants to pierce it.

“I always took violence as a basic underlying structure in my work. The element of being afraid is a specific fascination.”

“I don’t think art is derived from art, I think art is derived from reality.”

The reality of Luc Tuymans' work is always a double one.   At first sight we have a graceful, aesthetic and classic image but at the same time there are subtle references to post 9/11 or the era of Bush and the neocons.

In Ballroom Dancing, portrayed as well is the regression of American society of that period, the return to an overt form of conservatism.  The classic, blissful, romantic and innocent ballroom dance à la Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, takes place above a marble floor with the seal of the state of Texas, where George Bush had been governor, where whites strut rednecked and Christian fundamentalism flourishes.


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