Andrea Radai (1964
Suspense is ‘Leitmotiv’ in Andrea Radai’s work. Anticipation and anxiety, related to our existential-, political-, sexual- and social fears, and the way this tension that can be generated by an image is in the core of her work. She explores the power of representation in painting and drawing, and questions the potential of art in a world that is engulfed by images. She is interested in and researches the relationship between the collective and personal history. Her works reflect reality and behold a universal aspect of memory.
In april 2022 THE SOLO PROJECT, Brussel: STATES OF EXCEPTION
In 1983, the 15 year old Antillean boy Kerwin Duinmeijer was murdered in Amsterdam by a skinhead. Since, Duinmeijer’s death has become a symbol of racist violence in the Netherlands. The story has always struck Andrea Radai, not only because it provides an insight into glaring racism of Dutch society, but perhaps even more because of Kerwin’s backstory. After migrating to the Netherlands from Curaçao as a child, Kerwin (then still called Kerwin Lucas) had had a difficult relationship with his mother and moved in with the white Duinmeijer family, ultimately even taking on their name.
Years ago Radai stumbled upon holiday photographs of the Duinmeijers. In the snapshots we see Kerwin playing badminton and the family relaxing around their caravan. The images are mundane. Yet it is in their very banality that they offer a striking testimony of a struggle around identity, which in retrospect is radically complicated by Kerwin’s violent death.
In her work, Radai often focuses on the blurred boundaries of the private and the public, as well as on the (dis)comfort of voyeurism. The paintings of the Duinmeijer family form a new, urgent exploration of these themes as the holiday photographs offer an entry point to explore power dynamics in the intimate arena of the family.
Prices €600 – €20000
In the ‘Windows’ series I painted the daily life of my neighbours as seen from my window. The act of looking which is rendered public in the paintings also exposes the gaze of the voyeur. Because the paintings are created from the perspective of my own home, this sphere is also no longer entirely private.
The bilateral nature of looking is broken down further because of the relationship between the series and the work of Arne Svenson with which it is directly in conversation. When the addition of this third party breaks the illusion of intimacy connected to the act of voyeurism, the question that remains is not only how private the position of the viewed one is, but also what privacy remains for the gaze of the voyeur.
In the ‘Closeups’, I zoom in beyond the individual. Faces are cut off from the frame, the personal is lost. What remains are details that now speak for themselves, whereby it is clothes, gesture and posture that signify emotion. Persons are reduced to no more than some vulnerable features.
A series of paintings in a line along a wall, each provided with subtitles. The linear relationship between the pieces and the addition of text creates an illusion of explanation and connection. An image follows an image and a text generates an understanding of what it is we see.
In the series ‘In Transit’ I question the instinct to have our gaze be guided by text. What if two different images have the same subtitle? What happens with the hierarchy of signification (in which text stands above image) if the text itself is painted?
Very large works:
Crowd IX, 2016-17, acrylic on paper, 3 rolls, 1000 x 125 cm each, €18000,-
In “Crowd IX” the Installation, a crowd descends the stairs in a long continuous movement on the 10 meter long rolls of paper. The double rhythm of the vertical lines of the people and the horizontal lines of the steps illustrate the contrast of an ever-moving crowd and the solid stones anchored in place.Together with the collective movement, the individual appears and disappears. A silent landscape oversees the capricious human interaction.
Scraps of paper are scattered over and around the rolls, painted with the same abstracted figures. Although isolated from the crowd, the individual is still defined in relation to his origin, as part of it. The individual’s ability to tear himself away from the crowd is no longer self-evident.
However, by going beyond the safety of the group, the figures also become susceptible to a third power that can judge them. One that can compress them into wads with as little breathing space as in the original mass.
CCTV (Wallpaper X) 2007, acrylic on canvas 4 rolls 450 x 138 cm per roll
2 rolls € 12 000,-
4 rolls € 20 000,-
security camera images at 25 locations,
Andrea says about CCTV:
In the series “CCTV” I look at the intersection between voyeurism and surveillance. Viewing people who are not aware of being watched creates an intimate relationship between the privacy of the subject and the gaze of the peeping-eye. However, what happens if that view is institutional, if it is unclear who or what is watching?
The images registered by the same camera at different times makes the continuity of the gaze less and less certain. Repetition and change here are not only about what was on the monitor but also who was looking at the time. The relationship between voyeur and object is no longer stable, the one-to-one relationship is disrupted.
Biography Artist Andrea Rádai
Suspense is ‘Leitmotiv’ in Andrea Radai’s work. Anticipation and anxiety, related to our existential-, political-, sexual- and social fears, and the way this tension that can be generated by an image is in the core of her work. She explores the power of representation in painting and drawing, and questions the potential of art in a world that is engulfed by images. She is interested in and researches the relationship between the collective and personal history. Her works reflect reality and behold a universal aspect of memory. https://andrearadai.nl