Thijs Jansen | Kunst op de WC
November 9, 2021 to March 27, 2022 at Museum Jan Cunen, OssWhen do you
get closer to someone than in their bathroom? Despite the fact that we
do not see the artist's face in the hyper-realistic painting
Self-reflection in bathroom mirror, it is unmistakably a self-portrait.
On the washbasin we see which hand soap, toothbrush and toothpaste the
artist uses. In the mirror – an age-old compositional trick to draw the
viewer into the scene – we see the dark blue T-shirt and the carefully
painted chest hairs of the maker: Thijs Jansen (1986). Pretty intimate.
Anyone who peeks further has the pleasure of being able to look at him
after all. Because what the mirror does not reveal, the reflective
chrome of the faucet does.
The roots of the museum are located where the toilets are now. City
archivist Jan Cunen started here by collecting a municipal collection,
which was opened to the public in 1935. Reason enough to transform the
smallest rooms into exhibition spaces; a place where you spend
one-on-one time with art. Jan's glasses refer here to history, the
wobbly glass dome to the previous exhibitor: Koos Buster Stroucken
(1991). For the second edition of Kunst op de WC, he passes the baton to
Thijs Jansen, a fine painter with a raw edge.
The works shown do not all refer literally to the place where they are
presented: the toilets. But a physical aspect – from a woman's buttocks
or his father's torso to a pile of 'dirty' magazines – is invariably
present in the selection. Thijs: 'Physicality, and the slight discomfort
that it can evoke, belongs to these spaces. In addition, hanging work
that is very valuable in man-hours on a toilet creates a friction that I