28. The Smoke Curtain, 2006-2007, charcoal/acrylic/tempera/oil/print/canvas, 200 x 400 cm

28. The Smoke Curtain, 2007

The title to this work is a literal translation of a Dutch phrase. The construction of this image places the viewer inside this multi-layered picture.

The print to the left shows a fair amount of white and has barely been retouched. The image appears to be a framed window. Underneath, where you would expect to find the interior, your view is struck by a personalized display of ceramic pots and animals. The exhaled breath on the surface of the window materializes the curtain with a stained glass ornament. On closer inspection we discover the reflection of two cars parked in the street with an Amsterdam School building in the background.

To the right the domestic scene is of a completely different nature. The wall in a rather more depressed residential area functions as a background to a gasp filled with a projected world of more troubling memories. In this desolate location the brick wall around a window with curtains and shades is overgrown with leafless branches in winter. Our eye is unsure whether we’re seeing what’s outside the wall or inside it.

Life or the recollection of it comes and goes whenever it feels like it.