An introduction to the works of Christina de Vos (4)
The new millennium brought Christina de Vos freedom from that questionable reliance upon other artists’ works (and looks). From now on, her body of work will come from the head, the heart, the guts, the spleen, on her own two feet, out on a limb... glued together into drawn and redrawn, painted and repainted collages. They speak of an ambiguous, multi-layered, emotionally charged subject matter, suggesting memories and loss, holding and losing, absence and keepsake. Pretty basic and depressing as far as themes are concerned, but Christina adds an endearing and equally suggestive iconography that adds sweet to bitter – occasionally prompting a heartfelt laugh.
To be honest, both Christina’s newly-found, hard-earned independence and just about her entire output between 2005 and 2010 was inspired by the novel Zonsopgangen boven zee (Sunrises Over Sea, 1977) by Jeroen Brouwers. The story is as compact and claustrophobic as the impossibly dense prose in which it is written: man, woman, elevator, stuck. The lack of any significant action, i.e. the monumental significance of any action, makes reading the rather nonconsecutive chapters of the novel much like “reading” the separate panels of an altarpiece, that, as a whole, tells one universal story.