Parodying the parody

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In January of this year Belgian painter Luc Tuymans lost a court case filed against him by photographer Katrijn Van Giel who claimed that for his painting A Belgian Politician, Tuymans had simply copied one of her photographs of Belgian politician Jean-Marie Dedecker. The court dismissed Tuymans’ defence that his painting was a parody of the original photograph, and the art world tumbled over itself expressing its anger and dismay at such shortsightedness.

Two Flemish cartoonists, Serge Baeken and Herr Seele commented on this on separate occasions, and both quite remarkably enough chose the side of the photographer. The Herr Seele piece (which is one of a series in which he comments on topical items using well-known works of art) quoting an earlier work by Henri de Braekeleer makes everything even more meta. However, I think I prefer Baeken’s portrait of Tuymans himself, with some strategically placed perspiration on the parodist’s forehead.

Art commenting on art quoting art — things don’t get better.

(Illustrations © Serge Baeken – Lekstock and Her Seele)

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