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The Naked Truth of Naked Roots

The Beelden aan Zee museum in The Hague is showcasing a wunderkammer of Johan Creten’s sculpture work

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Text by Rab Messina
Photography by Gerrit Schreurs

There’s something quite brutal about Johan Creten’s lavish pieces. They might seem erotic and sensual, but in reality they fight the notions of the exotic and the discrimination of the sexual.

That’s the gist of Naked Roots, Creten’s exhibition at the museum Beelden aan Zee in The Hague –his first institutional solo display on Dutch soil.

Albeit formed by ceramics covered in shiny gold or brightly coloured glazes, his sculptures are far from romantic: they deal with diverse social issues, such as sexual politics, the place of the individual in history and human relations –including the many shapes discrimination can take.

The 50 pieces on display cover his full oeuvre, from the delicate to the monumental. The exhibition also includes photographic collages and a number of historical objects from his own collection, as well as preliminary studies and the mother model for the upcoming Vleermuisfontein, a piece he’s developing for the city of Bolsward in honour of Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018 – Cultural Capital of Europe.

Naked Roots is on display until September 23

johan creten naked roots
johan creten naked roots
johan creten naked roots
johan creten naked roots
johan creten naked roots
johan creten naked roots
johan creten naked roots

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