Sunday, August 09, 2009

William Kentridge

This is a South African artist who is I guess a draughtsman who films his ever changing charcoal drawings and creates incredible films from them (shot on the same sheet of paper). I believe I watched this one in Chicago in 1997 and since I was just there, here is that film. Much of Kentridge's work relates to Apartheid and the treatment of people, there are always modern articles in his work (telephones and other office objects figure prominently) and the stripe suited businessman is always a main character. The fragility of the human is seen again and again.

Obviously the title is taken from the bible's story of Belshazzar's Feast, the hand writes these words on the wall of his palace and Belshazzar is dead by morning.

There is a beautiful painting of this in the National Gallery in London, UK. The Rembrandt painting is just a literal visual of this biblical tale-although it is a fantastic portrayal of these events.

To be honest though, when I am in the Rembrandt room, I look at his young self portrait: haughty, full of expectation and then you walk into the other room where one of his last self portraits hangs- he looks absolutely at the viewer with honesty and no pretensions.

please check out the National Gallery and the Art Institute of Chicago