Wim Heldens, The Mirror, 2000-01

Lorena Kloosterboer explains this painting best: “At first glance, the narrative seems to have a strong homosexual and racial theme, but looking beyond the gay couple tenderly embracing in the corner of a room undergoing restoration, we find a lot of thought-provoking symbolism. Pointing a finger at the hugging pair, an archetypal adolescent giggles self-consciously while a transvestite indignantly reprimands him. Reflected in the ornate mirror we see a similar but age-inverted scene; a construction worker sniggering while being scolded by a youngster.
“This playful yet profound painting is about developing open-mindedness and compassion. It’s about learning to accept others beyond their skin color, sexual orientation, and other perceived differences—we can and should encourage and embrace more tolerance and kindness no matter what age we are.”


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