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Exhibition -

Anya Janssen - People say I'm different

Anya Janssen - People say I'm different

Exhibition overview:

Anya Janssen - People say I'm different Anya Janssen - People say I'm different Anya Janssen - People say I'm different

21 Oct - 18 Nov 2017


Anya Janssen 

People say I'm different

Een ode aan het ongekende

21.10.2017 – 18.11.2017

Opening met performance “LOK KEDE KOM A” van Christine Ayo: zaterdag 21 Oktober tussen 17:00 en 19:00


Op zaterdag 21 oktober opent People say I'm different, een solo-tentoonstelling met nieuwe werken van Anya Janssen bij galerie TORCH in Amsterdam. De werken tonen de ontmoeting tussen Anya Janssen en Christine Ayo, een jonge kunstenares uit Oeganda. Ayo is zich bewust van haar positie als de 'ander' in de ogen van velen. Ze gebruikt dit spel met perceptie als machtsmiddel, haar uitstraling is haar eigen bezit. Janssen is gefascineerd door de visie van Ayo op de wereld en het contrast met haar eigen positie als mens, kunstenaar en Europeaan. Ze zoekt naar een gelijkwaardig contact en beseft

zich gaandeweg: als je een verbintenis met iemand aangaat, wordt hij of zij onderdeel van je wezen. Je bent minder autonoom dan je denkt. Er ontstaat een poreuze identiteit waar het statische 'ik' plaats maakt voor een fluïde ‚wij'.

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 an approachable but ultimately distant Other.


“She crossed my path and I was instantly struck. Her vigilance and intelligence, her razor sharp view of my world, all evoked contradictory emotions. Sad- and happiness, wonder, bewilderment and anger, the wish to be solitary.

The encounter left me disorientated, questioning my position in this relationship and in this world, as an artist, as a European, as a woman, as a friend.


Why did I want to understand her so badly? Because it felt like this would let me understand something about myself. Because I believe that I not as autonomous as I often think and that the people who you meet along the way become part of your being. And because something about her kept slipping my grasp, something I wanted to cherish and hold. The unraveling of a grand mystery.


I wanted to chart her like the first explorers filled out the empty plains of the world with the things they encountered. Trees, mountains, rivers, villages; life drawn in scale. I captured moments, glances, details that eventually would form the complete image. I made circumferential movements.


A hand, a smile, the shadow of a leg. How much is needed to really see someone?

And to show them?


What you see is an exploration, the desire to find the path that would lead me to the essence, of her, of me, of us. A collection of scraps, a map without a legend. Fragments of something that is still moving, sometimes unfinished, but like life is unfinished, a relationship is unfinished. No path leads to the core, the middle of the map is not the middle of the land. After every portrait a nervous tension: will she recognize herself? Have I not taken too much liberty? What can you appropriate?


And what did she see? Our meeting is 'meant to be' she said. And I was looking for the meaning of those words. It was an ambivalent way of searching. I wanted to know her, not expose her, rather cover her, make her stronger. I wanted her to see herself like I see her. The magnificence.“


-Marjolijn van Heemstra-


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.


Group shows: ‚Kunst aan het Spaarne’, Teylers museum, Haarlem/NL, ‚Spiegeloog’, Museum Arnhem, Arnhem/NL, HalProject, Space Mass, Seoul/Korea, 'Once there was a time', Maerkisches Museum, Witten/BRD, 'Living room, B & N gallery, Londen/GB, 'In the Land of Retinal Delights', Laguna Art Museum/USA, 'Leve de schilderkunst', Kunsthal, Rotterdam/NL, ’My generation', Kunsthaus Essen/BRD, ‘I asked for’, Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin/BRD, ‘Girls growing’, Soil gallery, Seattle/USA, ‘10.Anniversary Juxtapoz’, Minna gallery, San Francisco/USA , ‘Realities’, Circulo de bellas artes, Madrid/ S, ‘L.A. International’, Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles/ USA, ‘Melancholy & Eros’, von der Heydt- Museum, Wuppertal/ BRD, ‘Kinder des 20. Jahrhunderts’, Mittelrhein-Museum Koblenz/BRD, ‘Totem’, Vishal, Haarlem/ NL, ‘Female Turbulence’, Aeroplastics contemporary, Brussels/B


Solo-exhibitions: „Retro-active”, Janine Bean gallery, Berlin/BRD, ‘The House”, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam/NL, 'The Shapeshifter, Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem/NL, Polarraum, Hamburg/BRD, ‘Back to back’, Pan Kunst Forum, Emmerich/BRD, ‘High Responder’, Mondo Bizzarro, Bologna/I, ‘Headdip I’, de Lege Ruimte, Gent/B