No one comes up here after Keith Haring. Except for a few retired friends taking refuge in a bench. We are on the upper floor, in a corner of the Kunsthal, here in Rotterdam. What a pity, there’s an excellent exhibition about Arie Schippers. But Keith Haring is downstairs wasting all the energies and the capacity for more. More colors, more fantasies, more art. Even though these paintings are dreamlike and these sculptures adorable.
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Arie Schippers who?
Arie Schippers is a Dutch painter and sculptor. His portraits, his specialty, are spot-on, even just in the sketch phase. Another topic is unwelcoming places, like parks at night and parking lots. Animals also come back a lot in his work. Dogs, especially, and horses. Incredibly cute and really well done.
The work I see today in the Kunsthal exhibition shows all three topics: people, unwelcoming places, and animals. The word that comes up in my mind to describe it is ‘friendly.’ Even the unwelcoming places seem strangely friendly, because they are caught in soft colors that are quite light. Sometimes also because there is an animal and how can a dog like that ever be unwelcoming?
The paintings seem like colorful dreams with a hunch of Alice in Wonderland. This is all so nice and comfortable after seeing Keith Haring’s primary and clashing colors and harsh lines. No wonder the oldies come to have a rest here. The young people I saw at Keith have left the building, satisfied. I don’t know what that says about us, I haven’t reached 30 yet.