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MONSTER Anya Belyat-giunta, jan Brokof, Kevin Simón Mancera, Peter vos

What characteristics delineate a monster? What rules does it transgress to be labeled as such? The work of Anya Belyat-Giunta, Kevin Simon Mancera, Peter Vos and Jan Brokof comes together in a group exhibition that explores the duplicity of the monstrous being: a creature that exists outside the norm but whose rarity provides it with a unique quality. The encounter with a monster pushes the non-monster observer to recognize its unlikeness and to define oneself in relation to the other, but it also encourages him to feel empathy, because in a certain way this encounter is like looking in the mirror. Little by little throughout this meeting, the boundaries between the monster and the non-monster blur until it is not possible to identify who is looking at whom. The creatures presented by the artists embody the desires, fears, uneasiness and complexities that arise in this process of identification and self-defining. The more we interact with their monsters, the more doubtful our dissimilarity becomes, prompting us to ask ourselves if we will embrace the remaining differences or we will reject them out of fear. Can the monster transform from enemy to ally?

Kevin Simón Mancera, no title, 2020, ink, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 21 X 32 cm € 2.000,-

Peter Vos

The artists featured in the Monster exhibition deal in one way or another with hybrid beings. Creatures situated in neither side of the non human-human spectrum. Peter Vos often depicts animals that hold some degree of human expression, or humans along birds. The clear, meticulously drawn lines enhance the meditative character of Vos’ subjects, whose aloof pose and gaze points to self-awareness and acceptance of their hybrid identity.

Peter Vos, Tarsier, 2017, ink and watercolour on paper, 34 x 39 cm. € 2.200,-
Peter Vos, Girl with dragon cloak (Sieglinde), 2021, oil paint on linen, 130 x 90 cm. Sold.
Peter Vos, Marabou Chick, 2021, oil paint on linen, 90 x 50 cm € 4.700,-
Peter Vos, Basilisk (Fafner), 2021, oil paint on linen, 140 x 120 cm € 8.200,-

In Norse mythology, Fáfnir is the son of King Hreidmar, and becomes a dragon after being affected by the curse of Andvari's ring and gold. A variation of this mythological character appears in Richard Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen under the name of Fafner, the dragon who guards a great treasure. Peter Vos reinterprets the theme in Basilisk (Fafner), pairing Wagner’s tale with the basilisk, a lethal and legendary reptile. Unlike other depictions of basilisk throughout history, who show the creature engaging in cruel or wrathful scenes, Vos ’subject rests serene, immersed in his own stillness. This is a monster aware of its forcefulness, but capable of mastering it.

Peter Vos, Owlet, 2021, oil paint on linen, 32 x 34 cm € 2.250,-
Peter Vos, Griffon Hatchling, 2021, oil paint on linen, 70 x 60 cm € 4.200,-

Kevin Simón Mancera

Kevin Simón Mancera is showing a series of detailed pen drawings of hairy humanoid figures sometimes with dog’s heads who, like some sort of actors, are impersonating human characteristics – often the artist’s own emotions, fears and desires.

Kevin Simón Mancera, no title, 2020, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 30 X 40 cm € 2.500,-
Kevin Simón Mancera, Al fin nos vamos entendiendo, 2020, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 29 X 21 cm € 2.000,-

Al fin nos vamos entendiendo translates to At last we understand each other, but there is a certain degree of nuance in the sentence that is lost in translation. The Spanish version suggests a continuous and mutual process, in which the understanding between the parties is gradually increasing. The figures in the drawing, however, add a layer of ambiguity to the expression. Is this a violent understanding? Or is it that meeting a different being always develops intensely? Monsters, especially as we perceive them in contemporary culture, can hold an invigorating energy that rattles society’s conceptual categories, but most importantly, push us towards mutual understanding.

Kevin Simón Mancera, No más mañanas, 2020, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 32 X 27 cm € 2.000,-
Kevin Simón Mancera, Palos Vienen, Palos Van, 2020, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 29 X 21 cm € 2.000,-
Kevin Simón Mancera, No va a quedar ni el recuerdo, 2020, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 42 X 30 cm € 2.500,-
Kevin Simón Mancera, no title, 2020, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 29 X 21 cm € 2.000,-
Kevin Simón Mancera, no title, 2020, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 30 X 39 cm € 2.500,-
Kevin Simón Mancera, no title, 2020, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 29 X 21 cm € 2.000,-
Kevin Simón Mancera, Hedor a miedo, 2020, watercolour and acrylic on paper, 42 X 29 cm € 2.500,-

Jan Brokof

In response to the 16th-century chronicle by adventurer Hans Staden who survived his captivity by a Brasilian indian cannibal tribe, Jan Brokof produced a series of photocollages in which various body parts are combined to form bizarre new creatures. His monsters embody the fear and fascination for the unknown and exotic.

Jan Brokof, Meninas Bluen III, 2017, c-print on dibond, edition of 5, 70 x 50 cm € 1.500,-
Jan Brokof, Jungle Girls, 2020, colour woodcut, unique print, 52 x 37 cm € 800,-
Jan Brokof, Exotic (ambivalent), 2020, colour woodcut, unique print, 74 x 52 cm € 1.000,-
Jan Brokof, Amazone, 2018, collage on paper, 29,7 x 21,7 cm € 1.100,-
Jan Brokof, Amazone, 2018, photocollage on paper 29,5 x 22 cm € 1.100,-
Jan Brokof, Amazone, 2019, collage on paper, 29 x 22 cm € 1.100,-
Jan Brokof, Amazone, 2018, collage on paper, 27,7 x 18 cm € 1.100,-
Jan Brokof, Amazone, 2019, collage on paper, 28,7 x 23 cm € 1.100,-

In Rousseau's words, man "turns everything upside down; he loves deformity, monsters." This bodily distortion was perceived as aberrant in the 18th century in a context of encyclopedic taxonomic intent. How to classify beings that do not fit in any category? Jan Brokof's collages reconfigure notions about the body and the flesh. In an exercise of crude dissection, the artist constructs new beings from found images. The result is unforeseen anatomies that are not governed by any discourse other than the hand that cuts freely. His monsters then, especially in a contemporary context, are not misshapen, but unrestrained.

Jan Brokof, Amazone I, 2016, collage on paper, 30 x 22,5 cm € 1.100,-
Jan Brokof, Amazone II, 2016, collage on paper, 29 x 22 cm € 1.100,-
Jan Brokof, Amazone III, 2016, collage on paper, 31 x 20 cm € 1.100,-
Jan Brokof, Amazone IV, 2016, collage on paper, 29 x 22,5 cm € 1.100,-

Anya Belyat-Giunta

Anya Belyat-Giunta, Eugenia dans le jardin d'Eden I, 2021, (colour) pencil, ink on paper, 100 x 77 cm € 3.000,-

At the court of Charles II of Spain, the young Eugenia Martínez Vallejo became famous for her huge size and weight, which earned her the nickname The Monster. Anya Belyat Giunta made a series of drawings inspired by this courtier. To compensate for her tragic fate she puts Eugenia in a Garden of Eden where she is accompanied by fairy creatures and exotic vegetation.

Left: Anya Belyat-Giunta, Entre deux mondes, 2021, (colour) pencil, ink on paper, 100 x 77 cm € 3.000,- Right: Anya Belyat-Giunta, Eugenia dans le jardin d'Eden II, 2021, (colour) pencil, ink on paper, 100 x 77 cm € 3.000,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, The Cactus Girl, 2019, graphite, gouache on paper, 66 x 51 cm € 3.000,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, Figuretta #5, 2020, graphite and colour pencil on paper, 24 x 18 cm € 1.250,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, Figuretta #4, 2020, graphite and colour pencil on paper, 24 x 18 cm € 1.250,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, Unknown Portraits #4, 2019, graphite and (colour)pencil on paper, 24 x 18 cm € 1.250,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, Unknown Portraits #20, 2020, graphite and pencil on paper, 24 x 18 cm € 1.250,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, Black and White, 2021, nylon, cotton, patent leather, 196 x 110 cm € 2.200,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, Figuretta #7, 2020, graphite and (colour)pencil on paper, 24 x 18 cm € 1.250,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, Figuretta #3, 2020, graphite and (colour)pencil on paper, 24 x 18 cm € 1.250,-

In the Figuretta series, Anya Belyat-Giunta draws studies or models of figures at rest. These creatures appear to have been placed on display and stare at the viewer, sometimes in flamboyant attires that suggest theatricality. At the same time, the drawings feature multiple baffling latent details: a bleeding wound, anthropomorphic details from which herbs sprout, truncated limbs, emanating lines. The confines of the flesh extend to accommodate hybrid beings.

Anya Belyat-Giunta, Figuretta #6, 2020, graphite and coloured pencil on paper, 24 x 18 cm € 1.250,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, Unknown Portraits #17, 2020, graphite and coloured pencil on paper, 24 x 18 cm € 1.250,-
Anya Belyat-Giunta, Figuretta #1, 2020, graphite and coloured pencil on paper, 24 x 18 cm € 1.250,-

MONSTER will be open by appointment until 22 August at Galerie Maurits van de Laar Herderstraat 6, 2512 CV The Hague, The Netherlands

For further information on a specific work, please contact the gallery via info@mauritsvandelaar.nl or (0031).(0)70.3640151