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Wim Heldens            

     

Queen of Spuds

oil on canvas
160 x 135 cm

1983


price on demand

     
           
 


Frustrated by the regular suggestions of people who thought that Heldens should paint a portrait of the Dutch queen Beatrix, he finally created a ‘royal portrait’ but as an ironic comment on the idea of ‘royalty’. At the time, the story circulated that Her Majesty was, in spite of her status, a ‘quite normal person’ who would even occasionally peel the potatoes for the family meal. Although this story was obviously an invention, reflecting the Dutch egalitarian social mindset, Heldens transferred the idea of a potato-peeling queen to a transvestite posing as a symbol of ‘normality’. The most striking feature of this canvas is the perspective, accentuated by the lines of the floor tiles, a typical element in 17C Dutch interior painting which has the strong effect of creating large imaginary spaces.