Dutch English
Eugene Jongerius by Tilly Janssen
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Today’s visual culture offers us a rich but also transitory collection of images that form the base of Eugène Jongerius’ work. Eugène paints, photographs, films, photoshops, coats and sprinkles existing images.
Among his favourites are for example pictures from fashion magazines; they are instantaneous and transitory references to unknown situations. Editing these pictures produces new images of a tranquil
world within the painting.
Only by looking at them longer, can Jongerius’ works
be better understood. By holding on to our gaze a little
bit longer, we can withdraw from the superficial view that put us on the wrong track and in this way we can give a new meaning to the work.
The manner of treatment, like a light painted crease, coordination of images, adding a double-image by means of perforations or drops, or consciously showing traces of applied photographical technique, causes our attention to be divided between the existing ‘old’ image and the new image.
Besides his digital work, Eugène Jongerius’ paintings
are mostly based on a combined technique: pigment / photo-emulsion / acrylic on linen. He also works with photosensitive layers on linen on which a first print is applied by means of a photopositive image and ultraviolet light.
Because of drips or perforations new images arise that alienate the old work from the new.
Creating new work, based on existing images, is a well-known phenomenon within the field of the visual arts. Andy Warhol’s work is, among others, an example
of this. Unlike Warhol, Jongerius’ goal is not to confirm mass-culture within the field of visual art. Warhol, who used images of 1950s media, uses the so-called ‘iconographic value’ of those images. In this way he confronts the spectator with effects of media-culture
in which multiple repetitions enfeeble the meaning of the image (e.g. the atomic bomb, severe car crashes) and confirm clichés (e.g. Marilyn Monroe).

Jongerius is not interested in these icons of mass-culture. He does not use existing images to comment on today’s cultural images on the same lines as Warhol.
The styled images from, for example, fashion magazines are treated by means of numerous techniques that all result in a new stratification of the work. In these new pictures, the formal aspects of his work become the bearers of a new image. An image that does indeed carry the traces of the old image, but has nothing to
do with it at the same time.
In the painting ‘Woman with Dog’, we see how the subject, that was based on a photograph, is being
made into a dotted line pattern. The subject of the picture, woman with dog, is still recognizable whereas a completely new meaning arises concerning content.
A meaning that is generated from the old as well as the