Are we Belgians tired of Tuymans or just not proud enough?
It was that Twitter I read today that did it. ‘Luc Tuymans member of American Academy of Arts and Letters. Unique. Has anybody heard congratulations yet from our Culture Minister, or the mayor of Antwerp?’ Belgian painter becomes honorary member of highest American art elite. For the past few days I have been monitoring this, out of curiosity. You’d think it would be making headlines everywhere. But no. Funnily enough all news sites were writing about how Bob Dylan had become the first rock musician in the Academy. But did those articles mention Tuymans? Nope. A day or so later, after one newspaper had written about it: some small news flashes about Tuymans here and there. But larger articles? Congratulations? Nope. I know he can be a grumpy fellow, I know he makes lots of money, but nevertheless: hello? And so I find myself in a position I thought I’d never find myself in: taking it up for Luc Tuymans, asking myself, in my best Carrie Bradshaw mode: are we Belgians tired of Tuymans, or just not proud enough? Oh, and will anybody please notice that the official artist list for this year’s Venice Biennale was released, yesterday? And that curator Massimiliano Gioni has selected some Belgian artists too? Thierry De Cordier, Jos De Gruyter & Harald Thys, Norbert Ghisoland and Patrick Van Caeckenbergh? Thank you.