The Seven Deadly Sins In The Artwork Of Gurt Swanenberg

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Taking cues from a 17th century practice known as taolennou, Gurt Swanenberg creates a new series of compelling sculptures. The original idea of taolennou was intended to provoke awareness of the seven deadly sins to a largely illiterate population through visual imagery.
Swanenberg takes the same idea and brings it into the present. Using various animal skulls he paints commercial logos related to each of the seven sins and makes statement about how they’re interpreted in the present day. Ideas such as gluttony are depicted on a pig skull with junk food logos painted on it. Wrath shows violent imagery on a lion head skull which includes gun and nazi references.
Even though the skeletons are painted Swanenberg takes references from sticker culture and collage. His overall aesthetic uses anthropology with brand name culture to comment on society’s ills. The original seven deadly sins surfaced around the 14th century. It was put forth by the Catholic Church to call awareness to man’s tendency to sin in the areas mentioned. According to the church there are two types of sin; venial which is relatively minor and the more serious mortal or deadly which is considered to compromise the grace and charity of a person’s nature. (via supersonic)

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