Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas (b. 1953, Capetown, SA) and photographer Anton Corbijn (b. 1955, Strijen, Netherlands) for the first time, under the title Strippinggirls. Both artists share a fascination for the glamorous world of photographic models, musicians and other artists, and find their inspiration in dancers in striptease bars or a paid stripper plying her trade for a fee in any living room. Strippinggirls is more than a direct translation of an erotic thrill into paint or print by a remote observer. The strippers and the situations are starting points, and provide the rough basic material for the work of the painter and the photographer. Marlene Dumas’ work hardly needs any introduction. Her paintings and drawings deal with femininity and the woman’s role in society as a pin-up girl, as a primal mother, as an object of lust or Mary Magdalen. The figures in her paintings are very intense and often focus on sensitive subjects.

Marlene Dumas
Marlene Dumas

The naked truth
The public display of nudity has always been one of her main artistic interests, as well as the reasons given to justify or banish it. The traditional (male) painter uses it to promote higher aesthetic values, the fashion model to promote clothes, the porn industry to promote masturbation, while film stars only do it if it’s part of the story. Most people don’t do it at all… and the teaser makes you beg for it.

Marlene Dumas
Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas describes stripping “While in life teasing is experienced as a bad deal flirtation, leaving you angry and frustrated, as an art form it has given us the striptease. You enter the theatre of seduction. You pay for this pleasure to quiver with anticipation. You stick to the rules. Strippers might stretch rules, you don’t. You have to known your place. You have come, so that she can make you wait. In our fast forward culture, they say that we’ve traded the tease for the strip, magic for illusion, glamour for humour. Yet a really good strip is never fun(ny).”


Watch Marlene Dumas: interview and exhibtion at MoMA “Measuring Your Own Grave”

Watch Marlene Dumas: works


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