Dark, morbid, disruptive and fascinating. Portrait of artist Natasja Kensmil, who colours the black pages of our history in her own unique way.
In her work, Natasja Kensmil, winner of the 2021 Johannes Vermeer Prize, often refers to historical themes and the interaction between past and present. Contradictions like power and impotence, earthly and spiritual, as well as sacrifice and violence play a key part here. With the many details, layers and nuances in her large canvasses, Kensmil confronts us with the dark sides of our human existence and our history. ‘It’s tempting to turn a blind eye to the suffering in the world, but the most intense art arises when you dive into the suffering. Don’t apply a band-aid to the wound, but rip it open even further and see how the blood gushes down your skin.’