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People say I'm Different - Anya Janssen

Galleries Torch

Lauriergracht 94
1016 RN Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 6260284

Open Wed - Sat / 12-18 hrs
+ by appointment

Exhibition 21 Oct — 18 Nov

Opening 21 Oct, 17-19 hrs


Anya Janssen, People say I'm Different, studio shot, 2017

People say I'm different, a solo-exhibition of recent work by Dutch artist Anya Janssen will open at TORCH gallery on Saturday the 21st of October from 5-7pm. During the opening there will be a performance “LOK KEDE KOM A” by Christine Ayo. 

Anya Janssen's most recent body of work describes her encounter with Christine Ayo, a young artist from Uganda. Ayo is aware of her position as the 'other' in the eyes of many. She uses this game of perception to her advantage and claims her striking appearance as her own property. Janssen is fascinated by Ayo's view of the world and the contrast with her own position as a human, artist and European citizen. She searches for a contact grounded in equivalence and gradually comes to the realization that connecting with someone means letting a fragment of their being become part of yours. You are far less autonomous than you often believe to be. A porous identity replaces a static “I” with a fluid “we”.

Anya has become well known for her very detailed and photo-realistic paintings offering a soft-focus view on an enchanted world. Now, she is leaving parts of the canvas in an unfinished, sketch-like state. The works celebrate the statuesque, nearly haughtily calibrated composure of this woman while they simultaneously touch upon a deep desire for empathy, for a transposition into the Other. Where Janssen previously had full control over her subject and image, she is now operating much more tentatively. She even felt the need to work in a new medium and will present a series of ceramic sculptures. Let me tell you about my family can be experience as the creation of a new self-image through the mirror of a approachable but ultimately distant Other.

About the artist
Anya Janssen lives and works in Arnhem, the Netherlands. She is represented by TORCH gallery in Amsterdam. Her work is exhibited worldwide and is part of the collections of Museum Arnhem, DELA, ABN/AMRO, Graydon, Benetton, Diesel, Delta Loyd/Ohra and Menzis.


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Gold and Silver

Portrait of Daniel J. Butler with gold and mining tools, 1850 © Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada/The Origins of Photography/Archive of Modern Conflict/CPI (detail)