Wunderbaum

Do you know those little trees you can hang in your car to make it smell ‘fresh’? They’re available in all sorts of fragrances and you can buy them at most gas stations. The smell is always both familiar and new.

Intrigued by the idea that (if matter doesn’t disappear but only changes shape) I am still breathing the same ‘air’ as other painters before me, I made the Wunderbaum series. By referencing well-known art works, I examine the role of the (commercial) cliché. With the depiction of only small parts of the famous pieces the (un)familiarity brings up the relationship between the details of a Rembrandt or Richter and the original. Is the fragrance in our car the real smell of pine trees? Is that actually what we want?

The presentation of these images as if wrapped in creates a second point of tension. It denies us the image (which we know so well) and promises its preservation at the same time. The conservation is simultaneously what protects the work and that which keeps us from truly experiencing it.

2019