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Fer Hakkaart

Transvestism in a Public Toilet, 1975 - 1980

Born and raised in a decent neighbourhood in Leiden, Fer Hakkaart (b. 1941) discovered a seamier side of the city, namely Leiden’s welfare districts where life largely takes place on the streets. This was the world that fascinated him and inspired his works, where he could unabashedly observe people ... in their own environment. Another unknown and at the time hidden world that beguiled Hakkaart was that of transvestism, which resulted in this canvas. What do we actually see? In a clear, realistic manner, Hakkaart has painted a public toilet with urinals visited by three people. At first glance they appear to be women, but it soon becomes evident that they must be transvestites or cross-dressers. They are all dolled up, wearing fancy evening attire, touching up their lipstick or smoking. The figure in the background seen from behind is urinating. Here, Hakkaart plays with the viewer. The ‘window’ through which we peer is, in fact, the mirror in which the two women are also looking. Naturally, this is an aptly chosen artistic standpoint, but perhaps the artist also wants to figuratively hold up a mirror to us. Are we voyeurs of a secret dating scene? Long-term loan from the Cultural Heritage Agency
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Fer Hakkaart
Transvestism in a Public Toilet
1975 - 1980
Oil on canvas
100 x 120 cm (h x w)
Type of object
© Fer Hakkaart

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