Francis Alys

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Image

I returned to MOT, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. I wanted to see the Francis Alys show again and try to take a photo of the backside of one of his paintings that was featured in a documentary film about him. A curator talks about his work in the clip and mentions that he uses the backs of his paintings as palettes for other paintings that he’s working on at the same time. She flips the painting over and you see the palette, which looks like an abstract painting. I was struck by this idea for several reasons. First, it’s such a practical way of solving the problem of a palette and secondly, it creates two paintings in one. Even though that wasn’t Alys’ intention, he did intend for the painting to have dual purposes: to be a painting and a palette. I also liked the idea that the painting has a visual component that we can’t see, almost like a  hidden message or a secret.

http://www.mot-art-museum.jp/eng/current.html

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