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Arnout Killian

Beheaded mannequin, 2004

Beauty with an uneasy edge: this work might look like a photograph, but it is actually a painting. Virtuoso artist Arnout Kilian (b. 1969) paints unused mannequins, abandoned office spaces or a simple begonia. Killian has a predilection for everyday subjects such as tapestries, hotel rooms, bungal ... ows, empty offices, and photos from glossy magazines. Forgotten places that you normally pass by acquire their own meaning. Killian says: ‘The image must raise questions. If the painting mocks me, it has succeeded. It has to stand on its own feet.’ Although he treats a multitude of subjects, there are certain recurring elements. Foremost is the concentrated manner of painting, which lends each picture a specific tension. Killian’s fascination with artificiality is also noticeable, for example in the way he demarcates the space or the artificial light in which the plastic mannequins and models pose, almost like a film set. That feeling is reinforced here by the black background, against which the dressed mannequin contrasts sharply. Arnout Killian studied audio-visual art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (1990-1995) and painting at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (1996-1997) in Amsterdam. He uses visual material derived from the media as well as his own images. He enjoys oscillating between the real and the artificial.
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Arnout Killian
Beheaded mannequin
Oil on canvas
220 x 175 cm (h x w)
Type of object
© Arnout Killian