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19


inspiration falling from the sky. What is important with painting is that it has to be intense. It has to show the intentionality and the intensity and also the elements of timing and precision.


You’ve often worked on war and atrocities. Are you a political painter? I do not believe in political art, or in the idiocy of political correctness. If you do that you diminish art. It becomes propaganda. I am not an ambulance chaser.


What about working on very difficult things such as the Holocaust – has it affected your view of human nature? I always had a quite pessimistic assumption about people and mankind, and history has not proven me wrong so far. I was never able to paint something joyful, it is not in me. Violence is a basic element of my work – you could call it anger management! Violence creates far more images than happiness, because the consequences can be physical (mutilation) or psychological (unseen).


Paintings with


How did your own family’s experiences during the Second World War affect your work? Both my parents are dead now, but my mother’s family are Dutch, and my father’s family are from Antwerp and Belgium. The side from Belgium collaborated with the Germans during the war, because of reasons of poverty. The other side was in the Resistance. This family history was not known when they got married and it came out by accident during a family gathering when I was five, which gave me a phobia towards this time in history. My parents’ marriage was not a happy one, so every time there was a conflict, on top of the conflict the war would come in.


presence


How do you feel about having the opening show at David Zwirner’s new Mayfair gallery? It’s an honour for me to have been asked to be the first show. A lot of dealers are content having a shop and making money. What David does is support your oeuvre, which is important to protect you from the ridiculousness of the art market.


Luc Tuymans: Allo! Is at David Zwirner Gallery, 24 Grafton Street, October 5-November 17.


LUC TUYMANS, ALLO! III, 2012


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