Inez van Lamsweerde

Black Widow (2005, photography)
Cobbenhagen Building, hall behind the Aula

Inez van Lamsweerde - Black Widow (2005, fotografie)

This widow with dark face painting wears clothing with ornaments that associate her with the most famous widow in Christian history: Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her husband Joseph died when Jesus was still a boy, so the upbringing was done by Mary, a single mother.

In art history, the color white is often used in Mary's clothing, because in the history of religion that color represents light, innocence, purity, and virginity, among other things. In addition, she wears a (stylized) red rose. This symbolizes sacrifice and devotion; in the Middle Ages, the rose was dedicated to Mary, who has as one of many titles the "mystic rose.”

What is striking in the work of photographer Inez van Lamsweerde is that Mary is painted dark. Because she is venerated all over the world, she has taken on a different color. After all, Mary is a saint who not only appealed to the West, but also, for example, to Asian and African cultures. Transformation and identity are the subject of this artwork. Inez van Lamsweerde says: "There is neither dream nor reality, time nor space, inside nor outside, young nor old, black nor white, man nor woman." She characterizes her work in a broad sense as "emotional vitality and fragility, surrealism and truth, heroism and vulnerability."

Inez van Lamsweerde (1963) studied at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and lives and works in New York with her husband Vinoodh Matadin. She has made many fashion reports and work(s) for Vogue, The New York Times Magazine, V Magazine, W Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Bazaar, among others. Their work is regularly featured in exhibitions.

The work "Black Widow" was selected for Liberal Arts by Prof. Willem Witteveen, the Dean who died in the MH17 plane crash in Ukraine, in 2014.

More about history and academic heritage

The Tilburg University academic heritage is a very diverse set of archives, visual materials, collections, devices, recorded stories, et cetera that relate to the history of the university.